B.C. to see COVID-19 vaccine first week of January 2021, health officials say | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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B.C. to see COVID-19 vaccine first week of January 2021, health officials say

Health minister Adrian Dix looks on as chief provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides an update on COVID-19, Saturday, March 28, 2020.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / Government of B.C.
November 25, 2020 - 4:41 PM

The dawn of 2021 may be the turning point in the battle of COVID-19, B.C. health officials indicated today, Nov. 25.

"We expect, and what we're planning for, is the first week of January, week one of 2021, to be ready to deliver the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines," Dr. Bonnie Henry said.

B.C., she said, is now readying itself to make sure it has everything in place to be able to deliver the vaccine once it's ready though, in the meantime, there's a lot that has to be worked out.

"We have an independent regulator who gives what we call a notice of compliance which is essentially a license for the vaccine to be used, and they are now doing a rolling process of reviewing data so that they can give that approval, as in a more rapid process," she said.

"So our job (in B.C.) is to make sure that we're following that process and that we're ready as soon as the vaccine is ready to get it into the people who need that protection here in B.C."

Currently, she said, it's unclear how much vaccine will come to B.C. and, she said, once it does come, each lot will be tested for safety. It will then be rolled out in phases.

The federal government has signed orders for millions of doses from a variety of foreign pharmaceutical companies in recent months.

It has also been in talks with other countries to ensure equal access to vaccines for all, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said earlier this week, with the expectation that the first doses will start to arrive in Canada in the early months of 2021.

At the same time, "we've begun to invest once again in ensuring that Canada will have domestic vaccine production capacity because we never want to be caught short again, without the ability to support Canadians directly," Trudeau said.

"And that will be in place in the coming years. If ever there is another pandemic we will not be caught on the wrong foot again."

—With files from CP

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