OTTAWA (Reuters) – The first 30,000 doses of Pfizer’s Inc’s COVID-19 vaccine are set to arrive in Canada soon, allowing authorities to kick off a campaign to crush a second wave, officials said on Thursday.
Canada on Wednesday became only the third country in the world, after Britain and Bahrain, to approve the vaccine.
“To all Canadians – if you’re feeling relieved and hopeful, you’re not alone. This is the good news we all needed,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said.
“But remember, this is only the first step in what will be a massive project over a long winter.”
The shipments will be sent to 14 special distribution sites across what is the world’s second largest country by area, much of it remotely populated. The military has been drafted in to assist.
Major-General Dany Fortin, who is in charge of the logistics, said the first doses should start to arrive at the sites on Monday.
Canada has so far recorded 435,330 cases of COVID-19, including 12,983 deaths. Most of the major provinces have reimposed some restrictions on businesses and gatherings to combat a second wave.
(Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Leslie Adler and Jane Wardell)