Canada expects first Pfizer / BioNTEch COVID-19 vaccines to arrive on Sunday

OTTAWA (Reuters) – The first shipment of the COVID-19 vaccine will arrive in Canada later on Sunday, the official responsible for introducing the country’s vaccine told CBC, and the first Canadians are likely to put on their sleeves as early as Monday.

FILE PHOTO: Major General Dany Fortin, Vice President of Logistics and Operations, Canadian Public Health Agency, attends a press conference as efforts continue to slow the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada 2020. REUTERS / File Bable

Canada and the United States are the first Western nations to start vaccination with the vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc. and German BioNTech SE after the United Kingdom.

The initial 30,000 doses will be delivered to 14 locations in Canada. The most vulnerable people, including the elderly in long-term care facilities and health workers, will be at the forefront of the shots.

“Some flights arrive tonight. Some flights will arrive tomorrow. Some trucks will cross the border tomorrow, so it will all come in the next day or two, ”Major General Dany Fortin told Canadian Broadcasting Corp.

The vaccinations left Belgium on Friday, where they were produced, and traveled to Germany and the United States before being separated and sent to vaccination points in Canada.

The distribution schedule is progressing as planned and vaccine delivery points will rise slowly starting this week, Fortin said on Rosemary Barton Live’s morning show.

“This is to ensure that we continue to instill vaccines regularly in the coming weeks,” 249,000 doses are expected in Canada by the end of the year, he said.

Predicting a rapid acceleration in the spread of the new coronavirus during the second wave, Canada’s federal health authorities on Friday called on the provinces to impose further health restrictions on the holidays.

There were 454,852 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country, with 6,011 new infections reported on Saturday. On Friday, health officials said Canada could see 12,000 new cases a day until January.

Canada is expected to approve Moderna Inc.’s second vaccine “fairly soon” and the country is ready to accept shipments by the end of the week, Fortin said.

In the same show, Supriya Sharma, senior medical advisor at Health Canada, said the Moderna vaccine is under review and important data is expected by the end of the week.

He outlined guidelines for possible allergic reactions to the Pfizer shot after two such cases were reported on the first day of vaccinations in the UK.

On Saturday, Canada said people with vaccine allergies should not take the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine.

“If you are allergic to a vaccine or this vaccine or any of the other ingredients of this vaccine, you should not receive it,” Sharma said. “But if you have other allergies, you can continue vaccinating.”

Health Canada monitors people who have been vaccinated for side effects or side effects, he said.

Officials said they would receive 6 million doses of Pfizer and Moderna by the end of March. Each vaccine requires two doses, about three weeks apart.

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Report by Steve Scherer; Edited by Lisa Shumaker and Bill Berkrot