Canada authorized the COVID vaccine produced by Pfizer and BioNTech.
Rushing ahead of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Europe’s main regulator to approve shots for its most vulnerable citizens, Canada has just become the third country to authorize use of the Covid-19 vaccine produced by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE, and will now begin its immunization rollout as early as next week, the Wall Street Journal reports—a daunting challenge for a sparsely populated country with the world’s second-largest territory. The country is on schedule to begin inoculations next week, with a portfolio of vaccine candidates that it argues is among the most diverse among large economies.
The U.K. and Bahrain approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine within the past week. Canadian officials said Wednesday they expected to soon issue a decision regarding the Moderna vaccine.
“We are not in a race with any other regulator. What we are trying to do is beat this virus,” said Supriya Sharma, senior medical adviser at Canada’s health department. “We expedited the review, but we did not compromise in terms of the safety, efficacy and quality.”