Moderna will ship 500,000 doses of its COVID-19 vaccine to Canada next week and an additional 1.5 million doses the week of June 14.
Minister of Supply Anita Anand announced the confirmed shipments today.
She says Moderna still promises to send millions of more doses next month, but there is no clarity on how many or when.
“Moderna’s next delivery includes 500,000 doses to arrive during the week of May 31 in two parts,” Anand said Thursday.
“The initial shipment is expected to arrive in Canada during the first part of next week.”
The Massachusetts-based company has struggled with its production lines and this spring’s deliveries have been lagging behind.
Initially, Moderna intended to send 12.3 million doses between April and June, but has shipped less than a third to date.
It is confirmed that the expeditions will arrive almost halfway.
Moderna owes the country at least 6.7 million doses by the end of June.
“Canada remains on track to receive vaccines for eligible Canadians to receive their first dose by the end of June, and second doses are being administered,” said Anand.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau praised the efforts of Canadians to get vaccinated Tuesday, saying that over half of our total population has received at least one dose.
“We now rank third in the G-20 for doses administered per capita,” the Prime Minister said.
As of mid-May, it was confirmed that Canada is expecting nine million doses of Pfizer vaccine in July. Previously, Canada is planning another shipment of 12 million doses of Pfizer in June.
Shipments range from 2 to 2.5 million doses of Pfizer per week from early June through late July.
Meanwhile, thousands of doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine will expire in days, and federal government urges provinces to put them in their arms before it happens.
Moderna vs Pfizer: there is some confusion
Experts have noticed a turning point with some Canadians mistaking the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine as being inferior to its Pfizer-BioNTech counterpart despite the similar effectiveness of both jabs.
Science communicator Samantha Yammine has received a lot of questions lately about Moderna and she thinks it has to do with a familiarity bias.
“It’s the familiarity principle,” Yammine said. “The more you hear about something, the more familiar it becomes, the more you believe certain things about it to be true. And because we have so many more Pfizer in Canada, many more people than anyone knows probably have had Pfizer.
Experts say Pfizer and Moderna offer equally high levels of protection against severe COVID-19 infection and illness.
“There is definitely a familiarity bias because our offering has been dominated by Pfizer,” added Yammine.
“… I think we should be wary of this familiarity bias in Canada, which has everything to do with our supply and nothing to do with the actual quality of the vaccines.