The first shipment of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine approved for use in Canada arrived in the country on Sunday night.
More doses of the vaccine, processed in Europe, are scheduled to arrive on Monday, Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin said in an interview on Rosemary Barton Live.
Once distributed, provinces will administer the vaccine to people in priority population groups, including front-line health-care workers and long-term care residents.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said last week that “the first 30,000 doses are expected to arrive in just a few days,” and he expects up to 249,000 doses of the vaccine to arrive before the end of the month.
WATCH | 1st COVID-19 vaccine doses arrive in Canada:
Canada’s chief public health officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, said on Sunday that she would be issuing “focused” statements on the immunization campaign, to answer questions and address “the increasing amounts” of misinformation circulating about vaccines.
In Sunday’s statement, she said it’s possible for someone to have a serious adverse reaction to a vaccine but added that “the chances of this are extremely rare — generally less than one in a million.”
“Canada has a well-established vaccine safety monitoring system. Once the vaccine is on the market, Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada will monitor for any adverse events after immunization, in collaboration with the provinces and territories and the manufacturer,” Tam said.
What’s happening across Canada
As of 6 p.m. ET on Sunday, Canada’s COVID-19 case count stood at 460,744 with 74,060 of those cases considered active. A CBC News tally of deaths based on provincial reports, regional health information and CBC’s reporting stood at 13,431.
In British Columbia, about 200 mink have died on a farm in Fraser Valley, east of Vancouver, where a COVID-19 outbreak was declared nearly a week ago. In Kelowna, the RCMP have issued a $2,300 fine against the organizer of a Saturday rally against COVID-19 restrictions.
Manitoba reported 273 new cases of COVID-19 and seven more deaths on Sunday. The province also appealed to residents who do not qualify for the first round of the COVID-19 vaccine earmarked for front-line health-care workers to not inquire about getting the shot, as excessive calls are creating delays in the booking system.
Ontario reported 1,677 new cases and 16 additional deaths. The new figures come as the province prepares to impose tighter restrictions in two regions starting at midnight — in York Region, just north of Toronto, and Windsor-Essex.
Quebec recorded 1,994 new cases and 33 more deaths.
New Brunswick reported two new cases.
Nova Scotia added six new cases, all of which have been traced back to previously reported cases or travel outside Atlantic Canada. Meanwhile, rapid testing is now available in Antigonish and Halifax.
Newfoundland and Labrador‘s active caseload dropped to 22 as it saw no new cases and one recovery.
In the Northwest Territories, Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Kami Kandola took to Twitter in an effort to dispel claims that COVID-19 could be circulating more widely in the community, saying the “situation is under control” and urging residents to “not spread misinformation and rumours.”
What’s happening around the world
As of Sunday morning, more than 71.8 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, with more than 46.9 million of those considered recovered or resolved, according to a tracking tool maintained by Johns Hopkins University in the U.S. The global death toll stood at more than 1.6 million.
In Asia, South Korea has set another record for its daily coronavirus tally with 1,030, as authorities struggle to suppress the viral spread. About 80 per cent of the new cases were found in the densely populated Seoul area, where authorities have shut nightclubs and other high-risk venues, banned late-night dining and taken other steps to slow the spread.
In Europe, elderly residents of Scottish nursing homes will start receiving the coronavirus vaccine from Pfizer-BioNTech on Monday. The residents, along with nursing home staff, will be the next to get the innoculations after 5,000 health service workers and vaccinators in Britain received the shots, Scottish officials said Sunday.
In the Americas, the United States has recorded more than 16 million cases of COVID-19, by far the most of any country in the world, according to data kept by Johns Hopkins University. The U.S. also leads the world in deaths related to the coronavirus at more than 297,600.
In Africa, Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune suddenly reappeared after nearly two months out of the public eye recovering from COVID-19. Tebboune, who fell ill and left for treatment in Germany in late October, said in a video message that it may still be several more weeks before he is fit enough to return to the North African country.