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Canada purchases 8M more Pfizer doses as Moderna vaccine shipment cut nearly in half

Last Updated Apr 16, 2021 at 1:17 pm EDT

Amanda Parsons, a registered nurse on staff at the Northwood Care facility, administers a dose of the Moderna vaccine to Audrey Wiseman in Halifax on Monday, Jan. 11, 2021. In a bid to control COVID-19, the federal government plans to make free vaccines available to everyone who lives in Canada over the course of 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS-Andrew Vaughan-Pool

Canada has purchased an additional eight million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine that will be delivered in May, June and July, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday.

The country will receive four million doses in May, two million in June, and another two million in July.

Trudeau also said the federal government will deploy the Canadian Red Cross to help Ontario with their mobile vaccination teams, and send aid to hospitals and long-term care homes.

Health-care equipment including oxygen units and drugs to treat COVID will also be sent, the Prime Minister said.

The first shipment of Johnson and Johnson one-shot COVID-19 vaccine will be coming on April 27. The 300,000 doses will be distributed the first week of May.

The news came shortly after it was announced that a shipment of Moderna vaccines expected next week has been cut nearly in half from 1.2 million to 650,000 doses.

“The supplier has also indicated that 1 to 2 million doses of the 12.3 million doses scheduled for delivery in the second quarter may be delayed until the third quarter,” Minister of Procurement Anita Anand added in a statement Friday.

Moderna blames slower than anticipated production capacity for the shortfall.

“We share the urgency of getting vaccines to Canadians as rapidly as possible. That is our work, each and every day, for all approved vaccines,” Anand said.

Vaccine supply issues have been an ongoing issue, especially in the Greater Toronto Area where several clinics have been forced to temporarily shut down due to lack of supply.

More to come