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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed that Canada will be getting 125,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech per week in January, for a total of about 500,000 doses by the end of that month. This is in addition to the more than 200,000 doses scheduled to arrive next week, as well as the 168,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine that should arrive by the end of December, pending Health Canada approval.
“Countries around the world continue to feel the pain of the second wave,” Trudeau said. “We need to take this very seriously as number continue to head in the wrong direction.”
“Our fight against this virus is not over, even as we’re preparing to say goodbye and good riddance to 2020. It may be the holiday season but we have to be more careful than ever.”
When asked about the U.S. and their more rapid administration of COVID-19 vaccines, the prime minister highlighted that Canada has the “best” portfolio of agreements for vaccine candidates and Canada is “ahead of schedule,” with immunizations beginning in December instead of January 2021.
“The Americans have a healthcare system that will have challenges and will have successes...we’re focused on our own process to make sure that as many Canadians as possible get vaccinated as quickly as possible, with vaccines that are safe and effective,” Trudeau said.
He added that once a “significant proportion” of the population is vaccinated, the government will start to be able to look at loosening restrictions.
The prime minister also spoke about CERB recipients having repay funds, after letters with sent out to some who received the benefit, saying that he doesn’t want to that be an “extra stressor” during a holiday season that is “already not like others.”
“Be reassured, any good faith mistakes will not be penalized, will not be pursued,” Trudeau said. “We are going to work with people over the coming weeks and months to ensure that people get the support they need.”
“These letters should not be a source of anxiety for anyone.”