The first doses of Covid-19 vaccine will arrive in Canada later on Sunday, with more of the initial batch of 30,000 coming on Monday, the official in charge of Canada’s vaccine rollout told the CBC.
As early as Monday, Canada and the United States are set to become the first Western nations after the UK to begin inoculations with the vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc and Germany’s BioNTech SE.
The doses will go to 14 sites around Canada, with the most vulnerable, including the elderly in long-term care facilities and healthcare workers, first in line for shots.
“Some flights will arrive tonight. Some flights will arrive tomorrow,” Major-General Dany Fortin told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. The vaccines left Belgium, where they were produced, on Friday.
The distribution timetable is going according to plans, and administration points for the vaccine will slowly be increased to some 200, starting this week, Fortin said on the Rosemary Barton Live morning show.
“The intent here is to ensure that we continue to have regular drip feed of vaccines in the coming weeks,” with 249,000 doses expected to be in Canada by the end of the year, he said.
Canada is expected to approve a second vaccine from Moderna Inc “reasonably soon” and the country will be ready to accept shipments of it by the end of the week, Fortin said.
On the same show Supriya Sharma, senior medical adviser at Health Canada, said review of the Moderna vaccine was ongoing and a regulatory decision could come before the end of the year.
Officials have said they expect to receive 6 million doses of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines before the end of March. Each vaccine requires two doses, given about three weeks apart.