TORONTO, ON — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday Canada will get up to 249,000 doses of the vaccine developed by American drugmaker Pfizer and Germany’s BioNTech before the end of December.
The vaccine is expected to be approved by Health Canada as soon as Thursday.
Trudeau had come under criticism from opposition parties for saying Canadians won’t be among the first to get a vaccine against COVID-19 because the first doses will likely go to citizens of the countries they are made in. Canada doesn’t have mass vaccine-production facilities.
“We are now contracted to receive up to 249,000 of our initial doses of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine in the month of December,” Trudeau said. “Pending Health Canada approval, the first shipment of doses is tracking for delivery next week.”
Trudeau said Canada has contracts with six other vaccine makers as well.
Trudeau said 14 distribution centers will be located in large Canadian cities initially. He said millions more doses will be on the way.
Seniors and workers in long-term care homes are among those expected to get the vaccine first.
“It has been a difficult year, and we are not out of this crisis yet,″ Trudeau said. ”But now, vaccines are coming.”