Covid-19: Canadian health regulator approves Pfizer vaccine


Canada's health regulator on Wednesday approved Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine, days ahead of possible approval in the United States, and says it hopes to start giving the shots next week.

Health Canada said the vaccine made by US drug maker Pfizer and Germany’s BioNTech had received authorisation.

The vaccine has already been authorised for use by the United Kingdom and Bahrain and officials have said they expect the US authorisation within days.

“This a momentous occasion,” Dr Supriya Sharma, chief medical adviser at Health Canada, said.

“The geek in me is amazed. No one would have thought, even when we looked back at the first discovery of the virus, that less than a year later we would be authorising and distributing a vaccine.”

Sharma said Canadians should feel comfortable getting the shot.

“The vaccine was authorised only after a thorough assessment of the evidence demonstrated that it met Canada’s strict standards for safety, efficacy and quality,” she said.

Health Canada said the terms of the approval required the manufacturer to continue providing information on the safety, efficacy and quality of the vaccine.