Premier Doug Ford issued the following statement following Health Canada’s approval of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine:
“This is phenomenal news for Ontarians and Canadians – yet another life-saving COVID-19 vaccine has been approved for safe and effective use in the province and in the country. We are taking another step towards ending this terrible pandemic.
The federal government has allocated approximately 53,000 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for Ontario in December 2020, and they will be delivered before the end of the month. These are the first of 40 million doses Canada will be receiving through its agreement with Moderna.
The Moderna vaccine is a real gamechanger as it does not need to be stored at extremely cold temperatures and is more mobile. This means health staff can administer this vaccine onsite in our long-term care homes, retirement homes, congregate care settings, rural and remote locations, and other places where our most vulnerable populations live. For the first time, we can take the vaccine directly to our priority groups.
As we move forward in the first phase of our three-phase vaccine implementation plan to keep Ontarians safe, the Moderna vaccine will support our ability to protect frontline health care workers and residents in long-term care homes and retirement homes, as well as adults in Indigenous populations.
Moderna and Pfizer doses will continue to be delivered and administered in January and we expect increasing numbers of doses through to March and beyond. Phase Two is expected to begin this spring when Ontario receives more of the ordered doses of vaccine from both Pfizer and Moderna, and potentially other vaccines, as they go through clinical trials and approvals. General Rick Hillier and the COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force are ready to distribute these vaccines as soon as the province receives them.
As we await the arrival of more vaccines, I continue to ask all Ontarians to remain vigilant and keep following the public health measures, including wearing a mask when required, maintaining physical distancing, and avoiding social gatherings, especially during the holiday season. These measures remain our best and only defence against fighting this virus until the vaccine is more widely available.”