It’s finally happening, folks!
The moment we’ve all been waiting for has arrived: a vaccine for COVID-19 is now in Canada, and it’s already starting to be given out! The vaccines, developed by Pfizer Inc. and German-based BioNTech, arrived in Hamilton on Sunday, December 13. The first dose was administered to Anita Quigangen, a personal support worker, around noon on Monday, December 14 at a University Health Network site in Toronto. She is one of five front-line healthcare workers to receive the initial batch of immunizations.
The Health Canada approved vaccine proved to be 95% effective during the clinical trials, but it requires two doses to be administered with a 21-day gap. The vaccine also must be stored at temperatures between -60°C and -80°C.
The first groups recommended by the National Advisory Committee on Immunization to receive the initial COVID-19 vaccine doses are:
- People who live or work at seniors homes
- Adults aged 70+, starting with those 80 years of age and older, then decreasing the age limit by 5-year increments to age 70 years as supply becomes available
- Health care workers
- Adults in Indigenous communities where infection can have disproportionate consequences
This is one of the largest immunization programs in recent history, with millions of doses needing to be given out, so it’s predicted to take most of 2021 before everyone who opts for the vaccine gets it. As long as the vaccine is effective (and we sure hope it is!), we should be closer to having everything go back to normal — or whatever the new normal will be.
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