Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine accepted by Health Canada

Since March and the dawn of the Covid-19 pandemic, Canadians have been praying for an end to all the turmoil and panic and perhaps, alas, it has finally arrived

It has been reported by various news outlets in the last few hours, that Health Canada has approved the announced Pfizer vaccine the pharmaceutical company has been working on for months and apparently, there will be just about under 250 000 doses available to Canadians by the end of the year.

Health Canada scientists studied the vaccine in a review that lasted a reported two months and they went through the clinical data with a fine toothed comb … the result: “The data provided supports favorably the efficacy of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine as well as its safety.” This statement was provided by Health Canada department officials; essentially, authorizing the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for Canadians that are 16 and over.

Canada was the third country to approve the vaccine, apparently right after the UK and Bahrain.

Rumored controversies early on

And although this is good and refreshing news to Canadians everywhere, a mere ten hours before reports that Health Canada had approved the vaccine, the United Kingdom released reports saying that those with allergies should steer clear of the Pfizer vaccine. It was in their studies conducted that two (2) individuals suffered “reactions” considered to be “adverse.”

“Two people with a history of significant allergic reactions responded adversely yesterday,” Stephen Powis, National Health Service medical director, said. “Both are recovering well.”

News of the official vaccine acceptance by Health Canada came—interestingly enough—after an alert was sent out via the Quebec Emergency Alert System, reminding residents in Red Zones to follow the rules and that there would be an increase in Police Presence.

So in the end, perhaps nothing but a wee bit of panic before the light materializing at the end of the dark tunnel turned out to be the saving grace we were all after, instead of the “freight train coming our way,” to quote the great James Hetfield.

What this all means

In the end, this means an end to the panic, an end to the suffering, but, what remains to be seen is how the government handles the distribution of this vaccine.

Dany Fortin, the military commander leading vaccination logistics, said: “We expect vaccines to arrive as early as Monday,” also saying that it could be “totally possible” that a few Canadians could get their shots even and as soon as mid-week!

30 000 doses will be sent out from a Pfizer plant in Belgium as of Friday—these doses are from the initial run of the vaccine.

In the end, it perhaps seems surreal, even to me a journalist that has been following this pandemic for its tumultuous run, but it truly does seem, as the internet flames up with post after post and the social media train runs wild on screens all over the world, that this nightmare is almost over.

“The efficacy of the vaccine was established to be approximately 95 per cent. The vaccine was well tolerated by participants and has no important safety concerns. The benefit-to-risk assessment for Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is considered favorable.”

Fingers crossed, dear readers, and stay safe.