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Canada/Canadian-Media: As federal officials are planning for distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) in its final directive released Dec 4 said that first batch of roughly six million doses, when available should be given to residents of long-term care (LTC) homes, and assisted living facilities, retirement homes and chronic care hospitals along with staff who work in the facilities.
Covid19 Vaccine. Image credit: Unsplash
The first batch of Pfizer's vaccine, expected to be the first product approved for use in Canada, requires two doses and will be enough for roughly three million Canadians.
In the months to follow, Dr. Howard Njoo, Canada's deputy chief public health officer said, Canada is expecting more product to arrive from the other drug companies that have developed promising vaccines such as Massachusetts-based Moderna and Johnson & Johnson's pharmaceutical division, Janssen.
Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, who is leading vaccination logistics at a new national operations centre in the Public Health Agency of Canada, laid out the rollout plan at a press conference Thursday.
Vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna, which are expected to be the first approved for use in the country, need to be kept at approximately -80 C and -20 C, respectively, to remain stable.
Eventually, there will be 205 "points of issue" locations across the country where health-care professionals can administer the vaccine, Fortin said and provinces and territories would specify where and when individual Canadians will be inoculated.
At a COVID-19 briefing on Friday, the head of the World Health Organization said recent progress on vaccines is positive but the agency is concerned this has led to a growing perception that the pandemic is over.
"The truth is that at present, many places are witnessing very high transmission of the COVID-19 virus, which is putting enormous pressure on hospitals, intensive-care units and health workers," said Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.