We’re not medical journalists by any means, but this is good news for 2021.
In a press conference held today on Parliament Hill, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provided an update on the federal government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the vaccine response that the government was undertaking.
Canada has secured an agreement with Pfizer to begin early delivery of doses of their vaccine candidate,” Trudeaus said, noting that the country has contracted to receive up to 249,000 of initial doses of vaccine in the month of December, pending Health Canada’s approval of the first shipment of doses.
Health Canada has not approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine candidate to date for the country, but senior officials have signalled that the independent agency is close to completing its efficacy and safety assessment and it could come this week, according to a report from CTV News.
After that, a “constant flow” of vaccines is anticipated to take place.
“Shipments will continue to arrive into 2021 with millions of doses on the way,” Trudeau continued. “This will move us forward… a vaccine roll-out is a positive development in getting Canadians protected as soon as possible.” He noted that companies such as Pfizer, the Public Health Agency of Canada and the provinces are working together to finalize preparations with Canada’s first 14 vaccination sites this week.
“The regulatory process is ongoing and experts are working around the clock,” the Prime Minister stated, saying that they will uphold “Canada’s globally-recognized gold standard” for its approach to medicine.
The Prime Minister went so far to remind Canadians that vaccines “cannot protect you if you get COVID-19.” With that said, Trudeau repeated the government’s messaging surrounding avoiding gatherings for the holidays. “I know this winter will be hard, especially with the holidays fast approaching, but we’re coming into the final miles of this crisis.”
“Let’s all buckle down and do what’s necessary to keep ourselves and others safe… We’ve seen new records of COVID-19 cases in a number of provinces, hospitalizations are rising… just because we’re getting closer to vaccines doesn’t mean we can afford to be complacent,” Trudeau said. “On the other hand, just because the numbers are spiking doesn’t mean we should give up in despair. Let’s keep working together.”