Canada Approves Vaccine Made by Pfizer and BioNTech

Dec. 9, 2020

Canada has approved the coronavirus vaccine made by Pfizer and BioNTech, the country’s drug regulator said on Wednesday, opening the possibility that Canadians will start receiving it next week.

The regulator, Health Canada, said that it completed a full independent review of the data on the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness. While Britain approved the vaccine earlier, it did so on an emergency basis; the approval was limited to a single production run and largely relied on Pfizer’s analysis. Bahrain has also issued an emergency approval.

“It’s a testament to the work of regulators internationally,” said Dr. Supriya Sharma, the chief medical adviser at Health Canada. “It’s an exceptional day for Canada.”

Canada has ordered a total of six million doses from Pfizer. Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, the Canadian military officer overseeing the distribution of the vaccine to provincial health care systems, said that Pfizer will start shipping the vaccine from a plant in Belgium on Friday. That could make it possible, he said, for Canadians to begin receiving shots as early as next Wednesday.