Health Canada approved the vaccine made by U.S. drugmaker Pfizer and Germany’s BioNTech last Wednesday, paving the way for The first shipments to be sent to Canada. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau late Sunday tweeted a picture of them being taken off a plane at Mirabel International Airport in Montreal.
The first batch of 30,000 doses of the vaccines is being sent to 14 sites across the country, with people in long-term care facilities expected to get the first of two doses of the vaccine later on Monday, according to CBC Canada.
Retired general Rick Hillier, who is leading Ontario’s vaccine task force, said that the number of people getting the first doses today may be small, but it is very significant – especially for health-care workers and others who have been at the front line of the pandemic for months.
“This is V-Day,” he told CBC News Network early Monday morning.
infectious disease specialist Dr. Isaac Bogoch told CTV News Canada, “These  programs are going to start. It’s going to take some time for them to take off, but they are going to take off, and soon every Canadian will be able to get access to this and this terrible pandemic will come to an end.”
The Pfizer-BioNTech shots are the first of several vaccines likely to hit the market next year, according to experts, after record-breaking development and production by scientists around the world.
“This is incredible stuff. We all know how horrible it’s been with the pandemic globally and of course here in Canada,” said Bogoch.
Public warned to continue wearing masks
With the excitement being generated over “V-Day,” health officials are warning that precautions – like wearing masks and social distancing – need to be continued.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted that Canadians should continue wearing masks, washing hands, avoiding gatherings, and using the COVID Alert exposure notification app. “This is good news. But our fight against COVID-19 is not over,” he wrote. “Now more than ever, let’s keep up our vigilance,” He tweeted.