3rd Country Gives Pfizer's COVID Vaccine the Green Light

Inoculations could begin next week in Canada
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 9, 2020 3:02 PM CST
3rd Country Gives Pfizer's COVID Vaccine the Green Light
In this Monday, Nov. 9, 2020, file photo, a sign with the Pfizer logo stands outside the corporate headquarters of Pfizer Canada in Montreal. Pfizer and BioNTech say they've won permission Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020, for emergency use of their COVID-19 vaccine in Britain, the world’s first coronavirus...   (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press via AP)

(Newser) – And then there were three. Canada on Wednesday became the third country, after the UK and Bahrain, to approve use of the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine, setting the stage for distribution to start there next week. The Wall Street Journal describes it as "racing ahead" of the US, where the FDA is expected to give its OK as soon as this weekend. The country is home to 38 million people, and Canada is on the hook for the purchase of 20 million doses of the vaccine, with an option to buy a total of 76 million doses.

The BBC and the Washington Post report Canada will initially have 14 sites in major cities where the vaccine can be administered, which the Journal notes will pose a challenge in the world's second-biggest country by land area. Nursing home residents, for instance, can't be easily moved to one of the sites, per a health official. The AP has this from Dr. Supriya Sharma, chief medical advisor of the country's health regulator: "The geek in me is amazed. No one would have thought, even when we looked back at the first discovery of the virus, that less than a year later we would be authorizing and distributing a vaccine." (Read more coronavirus vaccine stories.)

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