Canada is getting an unexpected one million doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday.
Procurement Minister Anita Anand made the announcement in a tweet, saying Canada has reached an agreement with the United States government for the shots.
“I would like to thank President Biden and my counterpart Jeffrey Zients for their partnership,” says Anand in the tweet.
“We continue to work with partners around the world, including the United States, to ensure access to vaccines for Canadians, as well as to help meet demands internationally.”
The doses will arrive from the U.S. by Thursday evening.
Canada has reached an agreement with the U.S. government under which Canada will receive an additional 1 million doses of the Moderna vaccine, set to arrive this evening. 1/3
— Anita Anand (@AnitaOakville) June 17, 2021
Details of the agreement between the two countries are not yet clear, however the first vaccine loan from the U.S. earlier this year saw Canada receive a loan of AstraZeneca shots that acted as an advance to already purchased shots.
The unexpected doses are in addition to the nine million Moderna shots that Canada is set to receive in June.
The country was already poised to receive more than eight million vaccine doses this week thanks to a massive infusion of shots from Moderna and a revised delivery schedule.
The Massachusetts-based pharmaceutical firm will deliver a total of 5.8 million jabs in two separate shipments this week, in addition to Thursday’s surprise delivery.
Canada’s total vaccine deliveries in June will now top 21 million doses.
The federal government has received more than 22.5 million Pfizer-BioNTech doses and nearly 2.9 million Oxford-AstraZeneca jabs, with another one million of the latter scheduled for delivery later this month.
Around 330,000 doses of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine were also delivered, but Health Canada has decided not to distribute them over concerns they may have been tainted.
Dr. Theresa Tam said earlier this week that Canada’s vaccine rollout plan is finally bearing fruit.
“Now we’re seeing the benefits of high [vaccine] coverage, including reduced illness and death among the most vulnerable populations,” said Tam
The country is on the cusp of its hitting its first national vaccination target, but chief public health officer Dr. Tam says the Delta variant of the virus that causes COVID-19 might mean the country has to up its game again.
Federal modelling done in April and May suggested that if 75 per cent of eligible Canadians had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 20 per cent had two, provinces could safely begin easing restrictions on public movement without overwhelming hospitals again.
Over 65 per cent of Canadian have received their first dose and nearly 15 per cent are fully vaccinated.