After months of uncertainty and ever-tightening restrictions, the end of the pandemic appears to be finally within sight.
The first shots of the vaccine are already in arms and millions of more doses will arrive in Canada in the next few months.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Tuesday that Moderna will deliver up to 168,000 doses of its COVID-19 vaccine by the end of December. That news came a week after a similar deal was reached with Pfizer for early delivery of up to 249,000 doses of the vaccine it produced in collaboration with German partner BioNTech.
“This is the good news we all needed,” Trudeau said. “This pandemic will end. We will get through this. But for now, we need to be incredibly careful.”
Nisha Yunis was one of the first health-care workers in B.C. to be immunized with a COVID-19 vaccine. The 64-year-old, who has been a residential care aide with Vancouver Coastal Health for 41 years, received the first of two doses of the Pfizer vaccine on Dec. 15.
“I have seen first-hand what COVID-19 does to families, and I am hopeful we are getting closer to finally reaching the end of this pandemic, so people can reunite safely with their loved ones and put this behind us,” Yunus said in a statement.
Pfizer and BioNTech are to deliver four million doses by the end of March and 20 million total by the end of 2021. Canada has contracted to receive two million doses from Moderna by the end of March, and 40 million by the end of 2021.
Both Pfizer and Moderna require two doses and use what is known as messenger RNA in their vaccines. It attaches some of the genetic code from the virus that causes COVID-19 to train a human immune system to fight the infection. Both report it prevented illness in more than nine in every 10 patients injected with it.
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