Elderly, Health Workers Among 1st to Get Pfizer Vaccine in Canada

Canada became the third nation in the world to administer the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine.

Published
World
2 min read
The Pfizer BioNTech vaccine arrives in Canada.
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Canada has become the third nation in the world to administer the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine by starting the COVID-19 inoculation process on Monday, 14 December. Frontline healthcare workers and elderly nursing home residents are amongst the first citizens to receive the vaccine.

Anita Quidangen, an Ontario caregiver, received her injection in Toronto, a week after the vaccine was approved in the country. The dose was broadcast on live TV, and the octogenarian citizen is amongst the first few in the country to receive the shot, reported Reuters.

Canada, the third country to approve the Pfizer vaccine after the United Kingdom and Bahrain, is expected to receive up to 249,000 doses by the end of December, reported AFP.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has promised that most Canadians will be vaccinated by September 2021 and his government is expecting to receive six million doses of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines by the first quarter of 2021, reported AFP.

Optimism Among Canadian Leaders

"It's a great relief. Clearly, it may only be the beginning of the end but we sense nevertheless that there will be an end to this pandemic," said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, reported Reuters.

“We obviously have to give priority to the most vulnerable but the second I have a chance – like all healthy adults – I will do so very visibly and with enthusiasm,” he told French-language broadcaster Radio-Canada.

Patty Hajdu, federal Canadian Health Minister tweeted, “The first doses of the vaccine have now been administered in Canada, including here in Montreal! Congratulations to everyone involved, and thank you for your dedication and hard work”.

"Today, we really turned the corner," said Dr. Kevin Smith, president of the University Health Network in Toronto, congratulating the first five caregivers who received the vaccine, reported AFP.

Residences For The Elderly Amongst the Hardest Hit By Pandemic

“Some 150 residents were set to receive shots at Maimonides on Monday, and 50,000 people will be vaccinated in Quebec by 4 January”, said Quebec's Health Minister Christian Dube, according to Reuters.

Ontario has been one of the hardest hit regions by the pandemic. On Monday, the populous province had 1,940 new cases and 23 deaths. The second wave of the pandemic in Canada has resulted in 464,313 cases of coronavirus and 13,479 deaths reported on Monday, reported AFP.

More than 60 percent of Canada's 13,431 pandemic deaths overall have been in residences for the elderly, down from 80 percent in the first wave, reported Reuters.

(With inputs from Reuters and AFP)

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