The first doses of Moderna's Covid-19 vaccine are due to arrive in Canada before the end of December, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday.
Canada began delivering the Pfizer-BioNTech shot on Monday and is now set to get up to 168,000 doses of Moderna's vaccine, which has not yet been approved by national regulators.
"Canada is now contracted to receive up to 1,68,000 doses of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine before the end of December, pending Health Canada approval," Trudeau told a news briefing.
"These doses are part of the guaranteed 40 million we have secured from Moderna, and deliveries could begin within 48 hours of regulatory approval," which could come in days, he said.
The number of vaccination sites across Canada will increase from the current 14 to 70, he added.
If approved, Moderna's jab will join the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, which was administered for the first time Monday to retirement home workers and residents in Ontario and Quebec.
On Tuesday, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found Moderna's vaccine to be safe and effective, in an analysis that bodes well for its emergency approval there by the weekend.
Trudeau also announced that Canada will receive 2,00,000 doses of Pfizer's vaccine next week, and has made arrangements to have 4,17,000 doses delivered before January 1.
In total, Canada, a country of 38 million people, has ordered and placed options on more than 400 million doses of vaccine from seven pharmaceutical groups, to ensure it has enough.
Canada plans to vaccinate three million people by the end of the first quarter of 2021.
The country, where the epidemic accelerated as the holiday season approached, on Tuesday had recorded more than 472,000 virus cases and more than 13,600 deaths.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)