Canada approves coronavirus vaccine as it increases immigration levels
Health Canada provided its first approval for a coronavirus vaccine on December 9, 2020.
This means that Canada can now begin the largest vaccination campaign in its history.
Approval was given to a COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech Manufacturing.
Health Canada issued a news release stating that "the approval of the vaccine is supported by evidence that it is safe, effective and of good quality."
Health Canada has placed several terms and conditions on Pfizer-BioNTech including providing:
- monthly safety monitoring reports containing information of side effects
- further data on the safety and effectiveness of the drug including final data from ongoing clinical trials
- further quality data confirming there are processes and controls in place to ensure vaccines of suitable quality are being produced
According to the CBC, Canada becomes the third country in the world to authorize a vaccine after the United Kingdom and Bahrain.
In a tweet, Canada's prime minister Justin Trudeau stated 30,000 doses of the vaccine are set to arrive in Canada as early as this Monday, and up to 249,000 doses could arrive by the end of 2020. The prime minister added millions more are set to arrive in early 2021.
Canada leads the world in the number of COVID-19 vaccines it has secured on a per capita basis. Overall, Canada has signed contracts with 7 companies and has secured 414 million doses of vaccines, according to CTV.
Three other manufacturers are now having their vaccines reviewed for approval by Health Canada.
Canada initially experienced success flattening the coronavirus curve during the summer but has since seen its COVID-19 case numbers spike across the country resulting in a fresh wave of lockdowns. It has seen over 430,000 cases and some 13,000 deaths during the crisis.
Canada's immigration system has been operating throughout the pandemic, with the country looking to get its newcomer levels back on track following the pandemic. Yesterday, Canada held another major Express Entry draw, inviting 5,000 successful candidates to apply for permanent resident status. The year 2020 marks the first time Canada has ever invited over 100,000 Express Entry candidates since the launch of Express Entry in 2015.
In late October, Canada announced its 2021-2023 Immigration Levels Plan. It will seek to welcome over 400,000 immigrants per year moving forward in a stated effort to compensate for lower newcomer arrivals during the pandemic. Higher immigration is a policy Canada is pursuing to support its economic growth in light of its aging population and low birth rate.
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