The United States is donating one million additional doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to Canada.
The doses, which were produced in the U.S., will arrive in Toronto later today, according to a White House official speaking on the condition they not be named, as they are not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.
White House COVID-19 coordinator Jeffrey Zients later confirmed doses were arriving in Canada on Thursday in a briefing to the media.
This delivery is part of a broad donation strategy previously announced by President Biden‘s administration.
By the end of this month, the U.S. is expected to have donated some 80 million doses worldwide. The one million shots being sent to Canada are a part of this allocation.
In addition, U.S. President Joe Biden announced during the G7 summit in the U.K. that the U.S. will purchase and donate 500 million Pfizer doses over the next year.
At that same meeting, Canada also pledged to donate up to 100 million doses as part of the global effort to end the pandemic.
While Canada’s vaccine rollout has sped up in recent weeks, it still lags behind the United States when it comes to delivering second doses.
So far, over 44 percent of the American population is considered fully vaccinated. In Canada, that number is just over 14 percent.
Overall, vaccine enthusiasm appears to be much higher in Canada. Some 65 percent of Canadians have had the first dose.
That number in the United States, according to the Centres for Disease Control, is 52 percent.
Some American politicians are keen to see more Canadians become fully vaccinated, in the hopes that the Trudeau government will start lifting border restrictions.
Canada is set to receive about 9.5 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine this week. Most of that is 7.1 million doses from Moderna.
In addition to this United States allotment, Canada was already set to receive about 8.2 million shots this week – 5.8 million from Moderna and another 2.4 million from Pfizer.
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