• Jerianne Bardoel

Health Canada Approves COVID-19 Vaccine

As of December 9, 2020, Canada has become the second country to approve the Pfizer- BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine.

“Health Canada has determined that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine meets the department’s stringent safety, efficacy and quality requirements for use in Canada,” said Health Canada in a statement.

The United Kingdom began to vaccinate December 8, and according to www.healthycanadians.ga.ca, there were two people reported having severe allergic reactions. Both individuals had histories of severe allergic reactions. The United Kingdom has asked people who are prone to severe allergic reactions to not get the vaccine for now.

The vaccine is a two-dose injection given in the upper arm muscle. The second dose is given 21 days later. 95% of 44,000 participants in the Pfizer trials revealed that the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines was effective in preventing COVID-19 one week after the second dose. The vaccine has not been approved for people younger than 16 years of age, as its safety and effectiveness have not been determined in people that young, stated www.canada.ca.

Canada should see approximately 249,000 doses of the vaccine by the end of December. Long-term care workers and frontline workers in the Foothills Hospital and the Peter Lougheed Centre in Calgary, and from University of Alberta and Royal Alexandra hospitals in Edmonton, will be the first frontline care staff to receive the vaccine in Alberta.

www.canada.ca also stated that the Pfizer – BioNTech vaccine needs to be stored at ultra-cold temperatures (below -70 degrees Celsius), therefore, the company is planning to ship the doses directly to provinces. There are 14 sites in 10 provinces that are set up to receive the vaccines.

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