The officials were speaking at the first of a new weekly series of press conferences to provide updates on the federal government’s vaccine deployment strategy.
Dr. Supriya Sharma says Canada is on track to authorize a vaccine being developed by Pfizer and BioNTech around the same time as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which is set to meet Dec. 10 to discuss whether to approve the vaccine. Arianne Reza, an assistant deputy minister with Public Services and Procurement Canada, said vaccines should be ready for distribution soon afterward. “We don’t anticipate any lag time,” she said.
As Canada awaits the first vaccine approval, the government has been stockpiling syringes and needles to administer the immunizations, and currently has enough for 25 million doses, Reza said. Ottawa has also ordered 126 freezers, including 26 that can function at -112 degrees Fahrenheit and 100 that can function at -4 degrees Fahrenheit, the temperatures required for Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines.