Canada becomes the third country to approve the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine


Canada's health regulator on Wednesday approved Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine.

A Mighty Voice: While severe reactions to vaccines are rare, there are people who can not receive all or certain vaccines due to health conditions. They are now both said to be recovering well.

Their early tests discovered more than 40,000 people tolerated the vaccine "well", but wider application was likely to find reaction outliers.

The United Kingdom began inoculating people Tuesday after last week becoming the first to approve its use.

The department said the vaccine is for use in people 16 years of age or older, but noted Pfizer-BioNTech are running further clinical trials on children of all age groups and that could change.

The federal government is planning to implement a country-wide monitoring of vaccine coverage and to track safety and effectiveness, Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada's chief medical officer of health, said Tuesday.

"As is common with new vaccines, the MHRA have advised on a precautionary basis that people with a significant history of allergic reactions do not receive this vaccination after two people with a history of significant allergic reactions have responded adversely", he said in a statement on the matter. "And when you see something as encouraging as the data that came through, you know, one can not help but tear does get emotional", she said.

Medical staff will contact people to arrange appointments, and most will have to wait until next year before there is enough vaccine to expand the programme. The FDA's report briefs members of the agency's vaccine advisory committee, who will meet Thursday to decide whether to recommend an emergency use authorization for Pfizer's vaccine.

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"Then we can look to see if individuals who receive the vaccine are more likely to have certain side-effects than others, from the vaccine", Kwong said. "One has to remember that even things like Marmite can cause unexpected severe allergic reactions".

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the first vials will arrive at 14 distribution centers across the country next week.

Detailed data from the vaccine's trials showed potential allergic reactions in 0.63% of those who received the vaccine, compared with 0.51% of those who received the placebo.

And last month, the federal Liberal government effectively blocked a US effort to allow wholesalers to buy cheaper prescription drugs from north of the border.

"If we are one of the locations I would presume part of that would involve rolling out the equipment that's going to be necessary quickly so we can start on those vaccines this month potentially", Vrbanovic said. That makes sense, says Saphire, given that the first injection sparks an immune response that the second shot boosts.

"I would not have broadened to the degree they did", he said.

Associated Press writers Frank Jordans in Berlin, Lauran Neergaard in Alexandria, Virginia, Rob Gillies in Toronto and David Koenig in Dallas contributed.