Doses of the Moderna COVID‑19 vaccine in a freezer trailer, to be transported to Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Doses of the Moderna COVID‑19 vaccine in a freezer trailer, to be transported to Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Pfizer to increase vaccine deliveries in Canada as Moderna supply slashed

Moderna plans to ship 650,000 doses of its vaccine to Canada by the end of the month, instead of the expected 1.2 million

The federal government has secured eight million additional doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, to be delivered by mid-summer.

Procurement Minister Anita Anand says the first additional four million shots will arrive in May, followed by two million in June and another two million in July.

Anand said the company will also move another 400,000 doses from the third quarter into June.

Canada’s initial shipment of approximately 300,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will arrive during the week of April 27, Anand said, to be delivered to the provinces at the beginning of May.

Anand says Canada’s incoming vaccine supply from Moderna will be slashed in half through the rest of April.

Anand says in a statement that Moderna will ship 650,000 doses of its vaccine to Canada by the end of the month, instead of the expected 1.2 million.

Moderna said the limited supply is due to a “slower than anticipated ramp up” of their production capacity.

Anand says the company also told Canada that one to two million doses of the 12.3 million scheduled for delivery in the second quarter may be delayed until the third quarter.

Anand adds the federal government will continue to press Moderna to fulfill its commitments.

Earlier Friday, the Canadian Medical Association called for “extraordinary” measures, including sharing provincial health-care resources and dropping the per-capita approach to vaccine distribution, to address the COVID-19 crisis unfolding in several provinces.

The CMA says it wants the federal government to consider re-prioritizing its vaccine distribution strategy to focus on urgent areas instead of distributing to provinces on a per-capita basis.

The organization also says provinces should be sharing its health-care resources with areas that are especially hard-hit, including Ontario and Quebec where ICU capacity is overwhelmed.

Dr. Ann Collins, president of the CMA, says Canada is at a “critical juncture” of the pandemic, adding a “truly national approach” is needed to combat rising COVID activity in parts of the country.

The CMA says further restrictions “must also be considered” in provinces experiencing rapid rates of COVID-19 transmission.

Ontario was expected to announce new measures later Friday.

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