The first shipments of the COVID-19 vaccine have arrived in Canada, according to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
The first batch of doses of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine have arrived in Canada. pic.twitter.com/xSvwkRROKo
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) December 14, 2020
Trudeau stressed that while this is good news, it remains crucial to stay vigilant and follow the guidance of public health officials.
“Our fight against COVID-19 is not over. Now more than ever, let’s keep up our vigilance. Keep wearing your masks, washing your hands, avoiding gatherings,” he writes.
Shipments of initial #COVID19 vaccine doses have arrived in Canada. #CBSA is mobilized and well prepared to clear this cargo for entry. A historic day in and an important step in our fight against #COVID19. @GovCanHealth https://t.co/ZPhKNJwzL3
— Canada Border Services Agency (@CanBorder) December 14, 2020
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines are bound for 14 distribution sites across the country. There are distribution sites in all 10 provinces, but none in the territories because health officials say the Pfizer shot’s -70 C storage temperature make it difficult to stock there.
Nearly 4,000 doses of the vaccine will be in British Columbia and will be distributed at one location in the Fraser Health region, and another in the and Vancouver Coastal Health region.
The province is expecting to immunize close to 400,000 British Columbians by March, but says it must focus on getting the first round of doses to those needing protection the most. This includes frontline workers in long-term care centres and COVID-19 units in hospitals, as well as those living in long-term care.
Next in line will be seniors in the community over the age of 80 and vulnerable populations — for instance, elderly people living on the Downtown Eastside and First Nations communities.
WATCH: How the first COVID-19 vaccines are being transported across the U.S.