Officials say the Moderna vaccine will be distributed to remote and isolated communities in northern Canada.
Canada received its first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines from Moderna Inc, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Thursday, as the country urged people to limit their contact during the Christmas and New Year holidays.
Trudeau said the first shipment of Moderna vaccine is one of 168,000 doses Canada expects to receive before the end of December.
“This is part of the 168,000 doses that we will receive before the end of the month, and part of the 40 million doses that Moderna guarantees us as a whole,” he tweeted.
Health Canada Wednesday approved Moderna vaccine for use in Canada, claiming it met the agency’s “stringent safety, efficacy and quality requirements”.
The first doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine have arrived in Canada. These are among the 168,000 doses that we will receive before the end of the month and the 40 million doses that Moderna guarantees us globally. pic.twitter.com/eKhQ6v8xSA
– Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) December 24, 2020
Canada is second country to approve Moderna vaccine, after the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on December 18 approved for emergency use.
Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine is the second approved in Canada after the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which is already being administered to healthcare workers and residents of long-term care homes in several provinces.
Unlike the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, the Moderna vaccine should not be stored in ultra-low freezing temperatures, and Canadian officials have said they plan to send it to more remote areas of the country.
“The different storage and handling requirements for Moderna COVID-19 vaccine mean it can be distributed to isolated and remote communities, including the territories,” Health Canada said this week.
Anita Anand, Canada’s Minister of Utilities and Procurement, tweeted Thursday that the first Moderna shipment “will be the first # COVID19 vaccine deployed in Canada’s North.”
1 / Just one day after Health Canada approval, I am happy to be on site as the Moderna vaccine arrives in ??! This is the first shipment of a total of 40 million doses that our government has purchased from Moderna and will be the first # COVID-19