Canada will likely be receiving up to 168,000 Moderna vaccine doses by the end of the month. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed the news on Tuesday.
The vaccine is still pending health Canada approval, but once approved, the vaccines would be delivered within 48 hours.
The doses will first be used in remote and Indigenous communities in Northern Canada, Trudeau said, with the goal to transport them within the coming weeks.
“As soon as we get the green light, we will be ready to go,” he added.
This news comes the day after first vaccinations were given out in Canada. Quebec was the first province to administer the vaccine starting with 89-year-old Gisele Levesque at a CHSLD in Quebec City.
Next week Canada will also receive 200,000 more doses from Pfizer, with 70 sites ready to administer the doses, a significant increase from 14 this week.
“This pandemic will end. We will get through this. But for now, we need to be incredibly careful,” Trudeau added. “Vaccines are already here. But we need to make it through this winter in the best possible situation, without seeing more tragedies.”
Trudeau went on to say that he wants Canadians to be assured that the science will not be rushed, and Canada's regulators will only approve a product that works.
While this is good news for many people across the country, recent polls show a high percentage of Canadians say they will refuse a vaccine altogether, or at least wait to see if it is safe.
"The approval of vaccines is not a political issue. Experts at Health Canada will do their jobs, and this is what they do for all drugs and vaccines in normal times," he said in French. "The work has to be done without being compromised."
In August, Canada placed an order for 20 million doses of the Moderna product. Earlier this month, Public Services and Procurement Minister Anita Anand announced the government would exercise its contractual options and order 20 million more doses in 2021.