Workers unload a shipment of the Moderna COVID‑19 vaccine at the FedEx hub at Pearson International Airport in Toronto on Thursday, May 20, 2021. Procurement Minister Anita Anand says Canada is trying to negotiate a deal to start getting doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine from the United States instead of Europe. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Cole Burston

Workers unload a shipment of the Moderna COVID‑19 vaccine at the FedEx hub at Pearson International Airport in Toronto on Thursday, May 20, 2021. Procurement Minister Anita Anand says Canada is trying to negotiate a deal to start getting doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine from the United States instead of Europe. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Cole Burston

Canada looking to U.S. to help end Moderna delivery delays

Not clear how many doses would come to Canada

OTTAWA — Procurement Minister Anita Anand says Canada is trying to negotiate a deal to start getting doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine from the United States instead of Europe.

All 5.7 million doses delivered to Canada from Moderna so far have come from their production lines in Europe. but the company’s shipments to Canada have been spotty and small since April 1.

As of Friday, Moderna has delivered or scheduled less than half of the 12.3 million doses initially promised for the second quarter.

In April, Moderna said Canada’s spring shipments might get cut by about one-sixth, citing vague human resource and material problems delaying production in Europe.

Deliveries from the company’s U.S.-based production facilities weren’t to be harmed, but all those doses are contracted to stay in the U.S. for now.

Pfizer began shipping doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine from its U.S. production facilities in May and Anand is trying to convince both the U.S. government and Moderna to do the same for Moderna.

“Our government also continues to work with Moderna and the United States government to ensure that a more stable delivery schedule can be established and maintained, including by pressing for deliveries from the company’s U.S. facilities,” said Anand in a statement to The Canadian Press.

A spokeswoman for the company said in early May that Moderna’s deliveries would continue to come from Europe. On Thursday she said there was no change at this time.

The U.S. has been one of the biggest COVID-19 vaccine producers in the world but used domestic orders to reserve the entire supply for Americans until that country was fully vaccinated.

It is slowly starting to share and donate doses to the rest of the world now.

President Joe Biden said Thursday the U.S. would share six million doses of vaccines with its neighbours and countries struggling to contain COVID-19, and another 19 million with the global vaccine sharing alliance known as COVAX.

They could be Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson.

It is not clear how many of those doses would come to Canada, but the amount isn’t likely to get anywhere close to filling Canada’s Moderna needs, as the six million doses will be divided between Mexico, Canada, South Korea, West Bank and Gaza, Ukraine, Kosovo, Haiti, Georgia, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Yemen and front-line United Nations workers.

The U.S. will donate 60 million doses of AstraZeneca as well as soon as they are cleared by an inspection.

The U.S. previously “loaned” 1.5 million doses of AstraZeneca to Canada in April, which were marked against Canada’s 20 million doses of AstraZeneca purchased from the company.

Pfizer has been Canada’s “workhorse” vaccine to date, accounting for more than two-thirds of all deliveries to date. But Pfizer will have shipped 80 per cent of its Canadian deliveries by the end of July, leaving Moderna to pick up the slack towards getting all Canadians vaccinated by the end of September.

Anand, health officials and vaccine program officers have all repeatedly said theyve been pressing Moderna for a more stable June delivery schedule for weeks, but have thus far only been able to get a commitment for 500,000 doses this week and 1.5 million the week of June 14.

That leaves the company two weeks to ship 4.6 million to 6.6 million doses and hit its spring quarter commitments.

Moderna and Pfizer are both set to deliver 300 million doses each to the U.S. by the end of July. Centers for Disease Control data suggest by next week the U.S. will have distributed 167 million doses of Moderna and 198 million of Pfizer.

The U.S. would need more than 600 million doses to vaccinate every American and, like Canada, Pfizer and Moderna are going to make up most of those. But U.S. vaccinations have slowed to a crawl in the last month.

Forty per cent of Americans are now fully vaccinated, and another 10 per cent have their first dose, but after leading the world in vaccinations for most of the winter, the U.S. is now administering only about one-third the doses each day as it was in April.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 4, 2021.

Coronavirusvaccines

Just Posted

CMHA
Mental health support centre in central Alberta to receive funding

Shoppers Drug Mart is lending support to the Canadian Mental Health Association.… Continue reading

Downtown Red Deer was packed with people who lined the streets to watch the Westerner Days parade on Wednesday. (Photo by SUSAN ZIELINSKI/Advocate staff)
Westerner Days parade cancelled, full details on modified event coming June 28

The 2021 edition of Westerner Days will look much different than any… Continue reading

City council wants to hear from the public at a May 25 hearing about whether the temporary homeless shelter should be allowed to remain in the downtown for another year. (Advocate file photo).
City of Red Deer staff to recommend another extension to allow operations at current temporary shelter site

Following some more research city administration has received no other new locations… Continue reading

A scene from the short Western ‘Cheaters, Robbers and Outlaws,’ written and directed by Jason Steele, with support from Telus Storyhive. (Contributed image)
Red Deerians make ‘Cheaters, Robbers and Outlaws’ short Western film

Writer and director Jason Steele received a $20,000 Storyhive grant from Telus

Residents in several neighbourhoods reported little to no water pressure Tuesday night. (File photo by Advocate staff)
City hall to reopen for payments and customer service

Red Deer City Hall will reopen on June 21 for utility and… Continue reading

Harley Hay
Harley Hay: You can’t trust Mondays

Monday isn’t my favourite day. It insists on occurring right after a… Continue reading

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price stops Vegas Golden Knights' William Karlsson as he is covered by Canadiens' Joel Edmundson during first period of Game 3 of the NHL Stanley Cup semifinal Friday, June 18, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Andreson’s timely scoring, Price’s goaltending give Habs 2-1 series lead over Vegas

Canadiens 3 Golden Knights 2 (OT) (Montreal leads series 2-1) MONTREAL —… Continue reading

Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11) is defended by Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons (25) as he looks for an opening during the first half of Game 6 of an NBA basketball Eastern Conference semifinal series Friday, June 18, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Curry, Harris help 76ers stay alive, hold off Hawks 104-99

76ers 104 Hawks 99 (Series tied 3-3) ATLANTA — Seth Curry hit… Continue reading

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s promise of a two-dose fall is… Continue reading

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, speaks during a press conference in Ottawa, Thursday, May 13, 2021. Mendicino has announced a new policy to help settle 500 refugees and their families in a news conference today. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year: Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino

Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino announced plans to expedite applications and increase the… Continue reading

Louis Oosthuizen, of South Africa, plays his shot from the third tee during the second round of the U.S. Open Golf Championship, Friday, June 18, 2021, at Torrey Pines Golf Course in San Diego. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Bland leads at Torrey and shows the US Open is truly open

SAN DIEGO — The U.S. Open prides itself on being the most… Continue reading

The Prime Minister's car waits outside the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg Tuesday, May 19, 2009. The head of the Public Health Agency of Canada is showing no sign he'll release unredacted documents about the firing of two scientists at Canada's highest security laboratory — despite the prospect of being publicly shamed in the House of Commons for his refusal to turn them over. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods
PHAC head maintains he’s bound by law not to release docs on fired scientists

OTTAWA — The head of the Public Health Agency of Canada is… Continue reading

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant in Canada

OTTAWA — The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly… Continue reading

Most Read