Nearly 250,000 first doses of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in Canada before end of December

Health Canada approval of vaccine could happen this week

The first 249,000 doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine will arrive in Canada before the end of the December.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Monday the vaccine will be available to begin a mass inoculation campaign, which is likely to begin with staff at long-term care homes and the residents living there.

“This will move us forward on our whole timeline of vaccine rollout and is a positive development in getting Canadians protected as soon as possible,” Trudeau told reporters. “I want to assure Canadians that any vaccine approved in Canada will be safe and effective.”

Health Canada approval of the Pfizer vaccine could come this week.

The announcement comes as the provinces and territories take part Monday in the first of several planned “dry runs” to determine the best method to handle the vaccine which needs to be stored in temperatures below -70 C.

A total of four million doses of the Pfizer vaccine is expected in Canada by March, which will be enough to inoculate two million people with two doses each.