Health Canada has approved the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for use in Canada, it was announced on Wednesday (Dec. 9).
The approval confirms the arrival of Canada's first batch of the vaccine, which eligible Canadians can start receiving next week, said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at a press conference earlier this week on Monday (Dec. 7).
Around 249,000 doses of the two-dose vaccine will be available to Canadians by the end of the year, officials say.
Government officials are expected to release more details about the vaccine's rollout at 1 p.m. EST today.
“We’re facing the largest immunization in the history of our country,” Trudeau told reporters earlier this week. “This is no small task, which is why we have a clear plan. Our government, through the national operations centre, has been working with the provinces and territories to ensure we’re ready to roll out vaccine doses as soon as they’re approved and delivered.”
Canada has purchased at least 20 million doses from the U.S.-based pharmaceutical company. The first four million are scheduled to arrive in the first three months of 2021, health officials say.
Pfizer’s clinical trials of the vaccine show that it is 95 per cent effective, has no serious side effects and protects older individuals.
This will come as good news for the travel industry as the latest consumer research suggests that more Canadians will start travelling again once they can access a vaccine.
According to a recent study conducted by Development Counsellors International (DCI), Canadians are eager to travel in a post-pandemic world, but will only do so under certain conditions.
In a 30-question online survey DCI conducted involving 1,512 Canadians from all provinces, 65% said they will not travel internationally until a vaccine has been developed for COVID-19.
Additionally, 70% of respondents said they’ll only travel to a destination that is confirmed to be free of COVID-19 cases.