BREAKING: Canada becomes second country to approve Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine a week after the UK gave the shot the greenlight – but the US FDA won’t authorize it for at least another day
- On Wednesday, Health Canada approved the coronavirus vaccine made by Pfizer Inc and its German partner BioNTech SE
- The government is set to receive 249,000 doses this month and four million doses by March 2021
- It comes one day after the UK began administering Pfizer’s jab and one day before the US FDA advisory committee is set to meet
Canada has become just the second country in the world to approve Pfizer Inc’s coronavirus vaccine.
On Wednesday, the country’s health regulator, Health Canada, posted on its website that it had authorized the jab after a two-month independent review on safety and efficacy.
‘Canadians can feel confident that the review process was rigorous and that we have strong monitoring systems in place,’ a government department statement read.
‘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.’
Canada is set to receive up to 249,000 doses this month and four million doses by March 2021.
This means that Canadians may start being immunized against the deadly virus starting next week.
On Wednesday, Health Canada approved the coronavirus vaccine made by Pfizer Inc and its German partner BioNTech SE. Pictured: The first patient enrolled in Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, receives an injection, May 4
On Wednesday, Health Canada approved the coronavirus vaccine made by Pfizer Inc and its German partner BioNTech SE. Pictured: Pfizer headquarters in New York City
In total, the government has purchased 20 million doses of Pfizer’s vaccine, developed with its German partner BioNTech SE. with the option to purchase an additional 56 million.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the first vials will arrive at 14 distribution centers across the country next week.
Because two jabs are required for full protection, the 249,000 doses will be enough to vaccinate 124,500 by year’s end.
Currently, only Canadians above age 16 are allowed to receive the vaccine. Once Pfizer releases more data from its ongoing clinical trials, it may be approved for use in children.
Pfizer submitted it application to Health Canada on October 9, meaning the vaccine was approved exactly two months later.
The news comes just one day after the UK began administering the inoculation to senior citizens in the city of Coventry.
Unlike Canada, the UK did not conduct an independent review and largely relied on Pfizer’s own data before authorizing the shot.
Meanwhile, the advisory committee of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is set to meet tomorrow on whether or not to recommend approving the jab.
Pfizer’s continuing late-stage Phase III trial is being held in several countries including the US, Germany, Turkey, Germany, Argentina., Brazil and South Africa.
In more than 43,000 participants, the vaccine was found to be 95 percent effective at preventing COVID-19 after the second dose.
Among those aged 65 years and total, the inoculation was found to be 94.7 percent effective.