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Canada/Canadian-Media: Pfizer and BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine, 95 percent effective based on Phase 3 clinical trial results could be delivered to Canada within 24 hours of Health Canada's approval, a BioNTech executive says, media reports said.
Covid19 vaccine. Image credit: Unsplash
"Upon approval, we then release the vaccine and then it is shipped. We've already produced the vaccine and reserved doses for Canada," said Sean Marett, the chief business and chief commercial officer of Germany's BioNTech, which partnered with the U.S.-based Pfizer to develop one of the world's most promising COVID-19 vaccine candidates on Rosemary Barton Live.
Three other vaccines produced by Moderna, AstraZeneca and Jannsen are currently being reviewed by Health regulators, a key step before the finer details of the federal government's rollout plan can be set in motion.
"We are negotiating for more precise delivery dates pending Health Canada approval," Procurement Minister Anita Anand told CBC's Vassy Kapelos earlier this week. "It's for that reason that we're putting the logistics systems...You've got to get everything exactly right, and that, of course, includes timings," Marett said, when asked about exact delivery dates. "These things tend to...move around [for] a few days. But so far, from our experience with one country, the United Kingdom, we've seen things move pretty smoothly."
Canada has signed a deal with Pfizer and BioNTech to pre-order 20 million doses of the vaccine, with an option to buy 56 million more in the months ahead.
If all goes well, said Public health officials, six million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are slated to arrive in Canada within the first three months of 2021. Both vaccines must be administered twice, meaning three million Canadians will be among the first to be vaccinated.
Specific sites by each province where shots will be received have been identified, said Dany Fortin, leading vaccine logistics and operations for the Public Health Agency of Canada on Friday and added that
Fortin said that dry runs are expected to be carried out in each province on Monday to ensure that those involved in the rollout process are prepared to handle the "very unique requirements" of an ultra-cold vaccine.
A contract with FedEx Express Canada to support the shipment of most vaccines across the country was announced by Anand on Friday.