Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he sees “the light at the end of the tunnel” of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, after waking up to the news that Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate may be substantially effective.
However, he is urging people to not let down their guards, because data that suggests the vaccine maybe 90 per cent effective at preventing COVID-19 is preliminary and it could still be several months before any vaccine candidates are ready for mass distribution.
“In Canada and around the world, scientists are working very hard and doing a great job. We hope to see vaccines landing in the early next year. But between now and that it’s really, really important that we double down on our efforts. We need to make sure we are controlling the spread of COVID-19 in the coming months so that when vaccines get here we will be able to act quickly to protect all Canadians,” Trudeau said during a press conference on Monday.
To be very clear: if you catch COVID in the coming days and weeks, a vaccine won’t help you or your family,” Trudeau said.
As The Associated Press has reported, Pfizer said Monday that initial data suggests the vaccine maybe 90 per cent effective in preventing recipients from contracting COVID-19, but the company is cautioning that the initial protection rate might change by the time the study ends.
In August, Canada signed a deal for 20 million doses of Pfizer’s mRNA-based vaccine and said it was negotiating with the company to include options in the contract for obtaining additional doses. It’s expected that, once a vaccine or vaccines are ready to be administered to Canadians, the initial supplies will be rationed and given to the highest risk populations such as seniors and health care workers.
“We see the light at the end of the tunnel. We are hopeful we are getting there because our scientists are working incredibly hard. But we need to do our part. We need to stay strong and hang in there a few more months, maybe more than that, but we can see it coming,” Trudeau said, encouraging people to keep up their mask-wearing, hand washing, and physical distancing.
“That’s how we’ll get through this winter, to spring and a summer that will be much better,” he said.
Photo credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
News source: CTV News