Prime Minister Trudeau announced on Tuesday that 168,000 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine will be delivered to Canada by the end of the month. Health Canada has yet to approve the vaccine but that is expected as early as this week. Trudeau said delivery of the Moderna product will begin 48 hours after regulatory approval.
Doses of the Moderna vaccine will be directed to the north and remote and Indigenous communities. The product can be stored at -20 C compared to -70 C required for the Pfizer vaccine. Most northern communities don’t have the health care infrastructure to safely store the Pfizer doses at such ultra-cold temperatures.
“We are working to ensure the logistics planning is ready when vaccines are available, and have already shipped medical-grade freezers to the north. As soon as we get the green light, we’ll be ready to go,” Trudeau said.
Canada has an agreement to receive 48 million doses of the Moderna vaccine.
Trudeau also announced that the country will receive about 200,000 more doses of the Pfizer vaccine next week with 70 sites ready to provide inoculations, up from 14 this week.
“As with the early shipments of the Pfizer vaccine, this moves us even further forward on getting Canadians protected as quickly as possible,” Trudeau said.
Several provinces began giving shots to people using the Pfizer product on Monday.