Canada approves Pfizer vaccine for use


Published: 2020-12-09 20:44

Last Updated: 2023-03-27 15:45

Photo: CNN
Photo: CNN

Canada gave the green light to the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine against COVID-19 Wednesday, a few days after Britain approved it.

"Today, Canada made a very important achievement in the fight against COVID-19 by approving the first vaccine against COVID-19," the Ministry of Health said in a statement.

The Ministry of Health confirmed in a statement that a review of the vaccine showed that it meets "stringent standards of safety, efficacy and quality for use in Canada."

Monday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that 249,000 vaccines would be received in December, with the first shipments arriving at 14 locations across Canada starting next week, and that the vaccination of citizens will start after a day or two.

Health care workers and people most vulnerable to infection with the virus, including the elderly, will be at the forefront of those who will be vaccinated.

By September 2021, Trudeau said, all Canadians will have received the vaccine.

Britain is the first Western country to authorize the use of the vaccine, and Tuesday, thousands of citizens began vaccinating at the start of the largest global vaccination campaign in more than half a century.

The vaccine, which showed 95 percent efficacy in the most recent clinical trial phase, is given in two doses with a difference of 21 days.

However, British health officials warned Wednesday that anyone who has suffered in the past from severe allergies should not receive the vaccine immediately after two people showed a reaction after receiving the first dose.

The US giant Pfizer and its German partner, BioNTech, described the initial order to Canada for urgent use, "a historic moment in our joint fight against the Covid-19 epidemic" and a "major step towards returning to normal life in Canada."

The two companies will continue to provide data on vaccine use for continuous evaluation, according to Health Canada.

The federal government has made pre-orders with several pharmaceutical companies, including AstraZeneca, Pfizer/ BioNTech, Sanofi/GSK, Novavax, Johnson & Johnson, Medica/Moderna, to obtain 400 million doses to ensure that the needs of the population of 38 million are met.