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Ottawa/Canadian-Media: Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine's first doses arrived in Canada on Sunday night, with more to follow on Monday, media reports said.
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A national immunization program of unprecedented scale would take place with the hope to bring coronavirus outbreak to an end with an eventual return to normalcy.
The pandemic has taken the lives of 13,000 people in Canada and infected another 450,000.
"The provinces will be in a position to administer the vaccines in the coming days," said Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, who is in charge of logistics at the Public Health Agency of Canada's national operations center and added expects provinces to increase the number of delivery sites capable of receiving vaccine shipments in the coming days.
The first images of Canada-bound Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine doses being processed at a distribution facility in Cologne, Germany was released on Friday by UPS Canada released on Friday.
Doses will be distributed on a per-capita basis to provinces, but territories would be excluded from getting Pfizer's vaccine at resent as they currently lack the capacity to safely store the product.
Once the doses arrive, provinces will administer the vaccine to people in priority population groups, including front-line health-care workers, as well as residents and employees at long-term care homes.
Two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine are necessary, with the second shot required 21 days after the first. Data from clinical trials suggest that immunity starts building 12 days after the first dose, but full protection isn't in place until 28 days after the first shot.
Details on upcoming shipments from Pfizer — including arrival dates and the number doses — are still being worked out with the company, Fortin said.
"The intent here is to ensure that we continue to have a regular drip feed of vaccines in the coming weeks," he said.