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

Moderna’s shipments to Canada from Europe have been spotty and small since April 1.

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.

—Mia Rabson, The Canadian Press

RELATED: Canada should roll out second doses ‘as soon as possible’: NACI

RELATED: Provinces consider COVID-19 vaccine incentives to reach those not getting shots

Coronavirusvaccines

Just Posted

The ‘official’ opening of 2nd Edition Coworking in downtown Fernie, a project five years in the making by the Fernie Chamber of Commerce. Left to right: Executive Director of the Fernie Chamber Brad Parsell, incoming President of the Fernie Chamber Norm Fraser, outgoing President of the Fernie Chamber Anita Palmer, and Mayor of Fernie Ange Qualizza. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)
Fernie Chamber cuts the ribbon on 2nd Edition

The new coworking space in Fernie is now ‘officially’ open, but has been operating since early 2021

Residents line up outside the Vernon Recreation Complex for their COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, June 5. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
No appointments necessary for first dose COVID-19 vaccine: Interior Health

People can just show up at clinics, register on the spot and get the shot

Sparwood Mayor David Wilks with the new AED SaveStation installed at the Sparwood Leisure Centre. (Contributed by District of Sparwood)
Sparwood installs public AED

The SaveStation was installed thanks to a grant from CP Rail

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry on Thursday, June 10, mentioned Grand Forks among two other COVID “hot spots” in B.C. Photo: Screenshot - YouTube COVID-19 BC Update, June 10, 2021
PHO Henry says West Kootenay city is a COVID ‘hot spot’ in B.C.

There are 11 cases of COVID-19 in the Grand Forks local health area, according the BC CDC

(File)
“Gift card scam,” and “grandparent scam” are on the rise, Cranbrook RCMP say

Folks are falling for these scams: “No Government agency or reputable company will ever ask anyone to pay with gift cards in lieu of their fines”

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Denmark’s Christian Eriksen receives medical attention after collapsing during the Euro 2020 soccer championship group B match between Denmark and Finland at Parken stadium in Copenhagen, Saturday, June 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, Pool)
Denmark soccer player Christian Eriksen collapses during game against Finland

Eriksen was given chest compressions after collapsing on the field during a European Championship

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps off Vancouver Island

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

As stories of the horrors of residential schools circulate after the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation announced it had located what are believed to be the remains of 215 children, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said he feels a connection with the former students. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
2 sides of the same coin: Ex-foster kids identify with residential school survivors

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip says the child welfare system takes Indigenous children from their families

Nathan Watts, a member of the Tseshaht First Nation near Port Alberni, shares his story of substance use, a perspective he said isn’t seen enough. (Photo courtesy of Nathan Watts)
Public shaming, hate perpetuates further substance use: UVic researcher

Longtime addict Nathan Watts offers a user’s perspective on substance use

57-year-old Kathleen Richardson was discovered deceased in her home Wednesday, June 9, 2021. Her death is considered a homicide and connected to the slain brothers found on a Naramata forest road. (Submitted)
Condolences pour in for Kathy Richardson, Naramata’s 3rd homicide victim in recent weeks

Richardson was well liked in the community, a volunteer firefighter with a home-based salon

A person receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
More than 75% of B.C. adults have 1st dose of COVID vaccine

The federal government has confirmed a boost in the Moderna vaccine will be coming later this month

Most Read