By the end of July, Canada will have received “over 68 million” doses of COVID-19 vaccines, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Friday, resulting in more Canadians being able to receive their second doses earlier than expected.
“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.,” Trudeau said, addressing the country from self-isolation at Rideau Cottage where he is quarantining after his international trip.
The previous cumulative total for doses the federal government said they expected to see delivered by the end of July was 55 million, which the government said Friday was based on Pfizer-BioNTech’s commitments and all past deliveries, as Moderna had not yet confirmed its future shipments.
“Just like we surpassed our delivery numbers for the first quarter of the year, we’re doing the same for the spring quarter. That will mean that for the end of June, as promised, we’ll be at more than 50 million doses total, and by the end of July, we’ll be over 68 million doses for Canadians.”
Detailing the anticipated upcoming deliveries, Procurement Minister Anita Anand said that Moderna will be sending 11 million doses of its mRNA vaccine between late June and the end of July, and Pfizer will be delivering 9.1 million doses of its mRNA vaccine by the end of July.
Anand called the announcement a “milestone,” that is the result of an ongoing push with suppliers to accelerate deliveries. Asked whether Canada will be paying a premium for the fast-tracked deliveries she said that the government has paid “fair value.”
There are no future confirmed deliveries of either the AstraZeneca or Johnson & Johnson vaccines.
The federal government has previously promised a “one-dose summer” and “two-dose fall” with all Canadians who can, and want to be, able to be fully vaccinated by the end of September. With this influx of doses expected over the next several weeks it is possible, pending further delivery delays, that the target date could be moved up.
Asked whether the prime minister was ready to set a new target for when all shots will be in arms, he said he is “certainly hopeful that everyone who wants to is going to be fully vaccinated before September.”
“The sooner the largest possible number of people get double vaccinated, the sooner we’re going to be able to get back to more and more normality,” he said, thanking provinces for doing their part in ensuring doses are being administered expeditiously.
Further, Anand said that sticking to the end of September target factors in the “volatile” supply chains, the reality of global demand, and the domestic responsibility of the rollout.