Over 68 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine will reach Canada by the end of July, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Friday.
Speaking from Rideau Cottage, where he is currently quarantining after his international trip, Trudeau said the jump in supply is thanks to new agreements with Moderna.
“Canada is getting millions more Moderna doses brought forward from our summer shipment schedule into June, and we’re locking in shipments for the first half of July… And we’re also getting extra doses from the U.S,” he said.
Outlining the specifics of the deliveries at a federal health ministers’ COVID-19 press conference soon after, Procurement Minister Anita Anand said Canada will receive a total of more than 18 million doses of Moderna in this quarter, “well over the approximately 12 million doses originally forecasted.” That’s on top of the one million doses that Canada received from the United States government Thursday, she said.
“We are pleased to report that Canada’s allocation from Moderna for the month of July is 11 million doses. What’s more, these deliveries will be front-end loaded with nearly five million of those doses actually arriving before the end of June and the balance is to be delivered in the first half of July,” Anand said.
Although deliveries from Pfizer have been tweaked, Anand said Canada will still receive 9.1 million doses in July.
“That has not changed,” she said. “However, the deliveries in the first two weeks will now be lower than originally planned, and deliveries in the last two weeks will be higher to compensate and to make up the difference.”
Overall, Canada is now going to receive more than 50 million COVID-19 vaccine doses by the end of June and over 68 million doses by the end of July.
“The situation is as follows,” Anand explained in French. “The 55 million doses before the end of July was only for Pfizer doses, but now, we have a timeline that includes Moderna, so we will have 68 million doses approximately before the end of July.”
Previously Canada expected enough doses to fully vaccinate 75 per cent of all eligible people before August, but with additional shipments from Moderna, the country might reach its target sooner.
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Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, and just under one in five are now fully vaccinated.
Canada’s chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam said Friday that there are some signs uptake in first doses is slowing now and efforts are starting to shift from mass vaccination clinics to more targeted operations for people who have struggled to access a vaccine or are hesitant to get one.
She reiterated that Canadians who get one or two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine are very well protected against COVID-19, despite new guidance from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization Thursday that all Canadians should only get mRNA vaccines from now on.
— With files from The Canadian Press