Canada approves use of Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine

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People wearing face masks line up for COVID-19 test outside a COVID-19 assessment center in Toronto
People wearing face masks line up for COVID-19 test outside a COVID-19 assessment center in Toronto

Canada has announced its approval for using the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine in the country, which is currently in the midst of a second wave of the pandemic.

Wednesday’s announcement came two days after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau notified that up to 249,000 doses of the two-dose vaccine will be on hand by this year’s end to start a mass inoculation campaign, reports Xinhua news agency.

The first doses of the Pfizer vaccine are expected to arrive in Canada next week, and plans are already in place to have the shots ready to be administered at 14 delivery sites in major cities across Canada, within one or two days of shipments arriving.

Prioritized groups will be the first to receive the vaccine, given the limited quantities to begin with.

Among the earliest to receive these shots will be staff and residents in long-term care and other congregate senior living facilities and health-care workers with high exposure risks.

The Canadian government has said its target is to vaccinate majority of the citizens by September 2021.

The vaccines will be offered to Canadians free of charge, will not be mandatory, and will eventually be available to all who want to be vaccinated.

A sharp increase in Covid-19 cases and deaths continued in Canada, which saw the average daily case count to over 6,415 cases for seven days, according to the Public Health Agency.

Canada has so far reported a total of 432,659 Covid-19 cases with 12,931 deaths.

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