Health Canada said it will “soon” be ready to announce the results of whether it can authorize a second COVID-19 vaccine after receiving the final documents from the U.S. biotech company Moderna over the weekend.
Moderna’s new Canadian general manager – hired just three weeks ago to set up a Canadian office for the company – said the company and Health Canada are in regular contact.
“Everyone works diligently all weekend,” Patricia Gauthier told The Canadian Press in an interview on Monday.
She said the process is on track and “we hope to make a decision when Health Canada is ready.”
The final documents include data on manufacturing. The Canadian doses of the Moderna vaccine are being made in Switzerland and sent to Spain for a “fill and finish” process. Six doses will be packed into each vial and the jars packed into the freezer for shipping.
Up to 110,000 doses can be transported on a single pallet. Moderna plans to begin shipping its vaccine to Canada after 48 hours of approval, with around 168,000 doses expected by the end of December and two million doses by the end of March.
Moderna will be picked up by FedEx in Europe and shipped in a freezer to Toronto, where logistics company Innomar Strategies will pick up, inspect the quality and then repack into smaller shipments for delivery to each province.
It will also be the first vaccine to be shipped to remote territories and indigenous communities.
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