#Canada; #ModernaCovid19Vaccine; #NorthernCommunities; #IndigenousCommunities; #RemoteCommunities
Canada/Canadian-Media: Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine's first shipment arrived on Dec 24, at Toronto's Pearson International Airport, just over 24 hours after Health Canada authorized the vaccine for use in people over the age of 18, media reports said.
Image: Moderna vaccine. Image credit: Facebook page
Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted along with a photo of a FedEx plane being unloaded that the shipment contains a portion of the 168,000 doses expected to arrive before the end of the year.
This is another big step in our national vaccine rollout," Trudeau said. "But it doesn't mean we can let up just yet. The vaccine won't help you if you get sick now."
Repackaging of doses into smaller amounts by Logistics company Innomar and their distribution to the provinces and territories would begin next week.
Vaccinations had not yet started in northern, remote, and Indigenous communities due to their lack of health infrastructure to safely store the Pfizer-BioNTech at -70 C to remain stable.
The ease of shipping of Moderna's vaccine doses and their storage at regular freezer temperatures would facilitate the start of the vaccinations in these communities.
Anita Anand, Procurement Minister tweeted that these doses would be the first deployed to Canada's North.
Canada is on track to receive 1.2 million doses of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna by the end of January 2021, said Trudeau on Wednesday.
Contracts had been secured with Pfizer-BioNTech by Canada to access 20 million doses, and with Moderna for 40 million doses to enable vaccination for everyone living in Canada by September 2021.