The first of many freezer-packed COVID-19 vaccine vials has arrived in Canada. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted a picture taken from their plane late Sunday. Last Wednesday, Canada’s health regulator approved a vaccine made by US pharmaceutical maker Pfizer and Germany’s Bioendech.
These vaccines are bound for 14 distribution sites across the country.
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Quebec is expected to be the first province to administer the vaccine, saying it was ready to vaccinate residents of two long-term care homes early Monday.
Canada’s initial 30,000 vaccines are expected to cross the border on Monday.
The Canadian government recently amended its contract with Pfizer and Bioentech to provide up to 249,000 doses this month.
Despite the advent of vaccine vials, Trudeau asked Canadians to continue to wear masks, to avoid meetings, and to download government apps that would let users know if they have been in contact with those who have tested positive.
“This is good news,” Trudeau said. “But our fight against COVID-19 is not over. Now, more than ever, we will continue to raise awareness.
Canada has agreements with six other vaccine manufacturers, and is currently considering three vaccines, including one drug from Moderna, which Canadian health officials say could be approved soon.
Canada has ordered more quantities than Canadians need, but the government plans to supply more to poorer countries.