Ontario is expected to receive 53,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine before the end of the month.
The news comes as the federal government announced Health Canada’s approval of the vaccine Wednesday afternoon.
“The Moderna vaccine is a real gamechanger,” said Ontario Premier Doug Ford in a public statement.
Unlike the Pfizer vaccine, the Moderna vaccine is easier to store and transport to various locations because it does not need to be kept at extremely low temperatures. “This means health staff can administer this vaccine on-site in our long-term care homes, retirement homes, congregate care settings, rural and remote locations, and other places where our most vulnerable populations live,” said Ford.
In addition to the 53,000 doses by the end of December 2020, 40 million doses are earmarked for Ontario through its agreement with Moderna.
The Moderna vaccine will be used in the first phase of the province’s three-phase vaccine implementation plan with the vaccination of healthcare workers in hospitals, residents of long-term care homes and retirement homes, and other congregate settings caring for seniors.
Both Moderna and Pfizer vaccines will continue to be administered into January and through March and beyond. Phase Two involves adds vaccine deployment to home care patients with chronic conditions, additional First Nation and Indigenous communities. That will start in spring 2020.
Phase Three will begin when vaccines are available for all those that wish to be immunized.
“As we await the arrival of more vaccines, I continue to ask all Ontarians to remain vigilant and keep following the public health measures…especially during the holiday season. These measures remain our best and only defence against fighting this virus until the vaccine is more widely available,” added Ford.