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COVID-19 vaccine will be 'beginning of the end', PM says, adding tough winter still ahead

Last Updated Nov 18, 2020 at 9:06 am PDT

FILE - Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference on parliament hill in Ottawa, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)

'We can see the end in sight,' Justin Trudeau says amid news around possible COVID-19 vaccines

Prime minister says it will be the beginning of the end when a vaccine is approved, but not the end

Trudeau is pleading with Canadians to make smart decisions ahead of what is expected to be a difficult winter

OTTAWA – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is urging Canadians to hunker down this winter, noting relief may just be a few months away.

While COVID-19 cases skyrocket across the country in the second wave, Trudeau tells our Winnipeg rock station, 92.1 CITI, that a vaccine is expected to arrive in the early months of 2021.

“We can see the end in sight. The light at the end of the tunnel is coming, but we have to really hang on for these next few months and do what is smart. Keep those distances, stop those gatherings, wear the mask,” he says.

He adds when a vaccine is approved it will be the beginning of the end, but not the end.

“It starts a process where things get better and better every day,” Trudeau says.

Trudeau has said initial doses of a vaccine will be dedicated to frontline workers and the country’s most vulnerable. Officials believe it could take until the end of next year before most Canadians are vaccinated.

The federal government has pre-ordered tens of millions of possible vaccines from several companies.

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The prime minister is pleading with Canadians to make smart decisions during what will likely be a challenging winter, saying we’ve done it once before.

“To make those difficult sacrifices so we can protect our frontline workers, prevent hospitals from getting overwhelmed, and really, really hang in there for a few more months.”

On Wednesday, pharmaceutical giant Pfizer announced it would be asking U.S. federal regulators for emergency-use approval for its vaccine candidate.

The company reported its vaccine is 95 per cent effective against the virus, and that its shot protects older people most at risk of dying from COVID-19.

Canada has already signed deals with several companies to secure tens of millions of potential COVID-19 vaccines.