Canada will be receiving an initial batch of up to 249,000 doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine before the end of December.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is making the announcement on Parliament Hill, alongside Public Services and Procurement Minister Anita Anand, Deputy Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Howard Njoo, and Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin.
Health Canada has not yet approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine candidate for use in this country, though senior officials have signalled that the independent agency is close to completing its efficacy and safety assessment and it could come this week.
The United Kingdom has approved the vaccine for use, and the United States Food and Drug Administration is set to give the pharmaceutical giant’s vaccine the green light to roll out to Americans this week.
Health Canada’s chief medical adviser Dr. Supriya Sharma said last Thursday that the review of Pfizer’s vaccine candidate is progressing “very well” but the agency was awaiting some “key” information coming in the next few days, including quality assurance checks on the specific batches destined for Canada.
Meanwhile, Fortin — who is leading the National Operations Centre within the Public Health Agency of Canada that’s focused on the logistics of the rollout — is leading a “dry run” of the Pfizer rollout on Monday, to ensure that there are no kinks in the ultra-cold storage delivery chain.
His plan has been to be prepared to deploy the rollout by mid-December, in anticipation of Canada’s vaccine administration effort commencing in January.
Photo credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
News source: CTV News