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Canada might approve the first COVID-19 vaccine by end of 2020

Canada might approve the first COVID-19 vaccine by end of 2020
/ Luis Diaz Devesa / Moment / Getty Images

3 million Canadians could be vaccinated in early 2021

Canada has reached agreements to buy up to 194 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, with the option to purchase 220 million more, if needed.

At a press briefing on Thursday, health officials said that Canada currently has deals with seven vaccine manufacturers.

Dr. Howard Njoo, Canada’s Deputy Chief Public Health Officer, says that Canada should start receiving COVID-19 vaccine doses next year, but they would not be distributed to the provinces until they have been officially approved and deemed safe. He went on to say that vaccines are expected to be available in the first quarter of 2021, but only three million doses will be administered at that time.

“There has been a great deal of preparation taking place behind the scenes to ensure Canada is well-positioned to obtain COVID-19 vaccines and, building on our well-established systems, provide access to every Canadian who wants one in 2021,” Njoo told reporters.

Frontline workers and vulnerable citizens first in line

Njoo warned that since supplies will be limited at first, the first batch will be reserved for "high priority groups" only — which includes seniors in long-term care homes, first responders, health care workers, people at risk of severe illness and death, and some Indigenous communities, among others.

“As things stand now, we expect certain vaccines to become available in early 2021. However, it’s important to note that the initial supply of these vaccines will be limited … When a vaccine is ready, Canada will be ready,” he said.

Meanwhile, Premier François Legault says he will speak to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday to finalize how many doses Quebec will be getting and when they are expected to arrive.

Njoo ended by saying the government will provide more information about logistics, distribution, and allocation at a later date.



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