It’s official, Health Canada has approved the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for use in this country.
The announcement was made Wednesday, and according to Pfizer, the distribution of the vaccine in Canada will be prioritized “according to the populations identified in guidance from the National Advisory Committee on Immunizations (NACI).”
It’s a critical moment in Canada’s fight to stop the spread of COVID-19 as infections continue to soar across the country.
“Canadians can feel confident that the review process was rigorous and that we have strong monitoring systems in place. Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada will closely monitor the safety of the vaccine once it is on the market and will not hesitate to take action if any safety concerns are identified,” reads the statement from Health Canada.
Canada is the second country in the world to approve the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine following The United Kingdom who began vaccinating its citizens with the same vaccine on Tuesday.
“Today’s decision from Health Canada is a historic moment in our collective fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and is a major step towards returning to normalcy in Canada,” says Cole Pinnow, President, Pfizer Canada, in a statement.
“We commend Health Canada for its careful and thorough assessment of our COVID-19 vaccine and timely action to help protect Canadians.”
COVID-19 vaccines will be offered to Canadians free of charge and will not be mandatory.
More information will be available in the coming weeks.