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In what comes as a positive news while the world is reeling with novel coronavirus pandemic, Canada on Wednesday approved Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for use, clearing the way for shots to be delivered and administered across the country, said an official.

With this, Canada becomes the second Western country after Britain to approve administration of the Covid-19 vaccine for its citizens.

The nation's first coronavirus vaccine green light comes under a new interim order system that allows for accelerated approval very similar to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's emergency use authorizations.

The federal health agency of Canada said that the vaccine effective and safe for use on Canadians, which means that the team responsible for the rollout of vaccines can now begin the process of administering them.

The announcement came just days after the Canadian government had said that the country will get up to 249,000 doses of Pfizer Inc's COVID-19 vaccine before the end of December, assuming it is approved by the health ministry.

Canadian regulators are due make an approval decision on the vaccine - which Pfizer is producing with German partner BionNTech SE - as early as this week, officials told reporters on Dec 3.

"Following successful negotiations, Canada will receive up to 249,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in December 2020, contingent on Health Canada authorization of the vaccine," the government said in a statement.

The Liberal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said it expects to receive a total of six million doses of vaccines produced by Pfizer and Moderna Inc during the first quarter of next year.

The doses will be enough to inoculate three million people as both vaccines require two shots about a month apart.

The vaccine already has been approved by the United Kingdom and officials have said they expect US approval within days.

Canada has purchased 20 million doses of that vaccine, which requires people to receive two doses each, and it has the option to buy 56 million more.

“This is phenomenal news for all Canadians as we take the next step toward ending this pandemic. As soon as vaccines arrive on Ontario soil, we will be ready to deliver and administer them," Ontario Premier Doug Ford said in a tweet.

Meanwhile, several of the 10 provinces are reimposing restrictions on businesses and limiting the size of gatherings as the number of new cases sets daily records. Canada has reported a total of 415,182 cases of COVID-19 and 12,665 deaths.

With inputs from agencies





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