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Canada to receive 249,000 COVID-19 vaccines this month: Trudeau

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A first wave of Canadians could receive doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine by the end of the month so long as it is approved by Health Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Monday.

"We are confident that we will have 100 million doses of Pfizer's vaccine as agreed to in our contract, and beyond that, we have five other vaccine candidates", a spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Human Services said.

Pfizer and partner BioNTech expect to produce globally up to 50 million vaccine doses in 2020 and up to 1.3 billion doses by the end of 2021.

The first shipment is being tracked for delivery next week, Trudeau said.

Pfizer needs to store its vaccine at ultracold temperatures - below -70 C - and so the company is planning to ship the doses directly to provinces.

Seeking to quieten public scepticism over the vaccine and secure a key component of Mr Trump's legacy, Tuesday's summit will highlight the administration's plans to distribute and administer the vaccine.

It seems the executives leading COVID-19 vaccine development know better than to attend a big gathering right about now.

There will be one or two days from de-freezing the product to when it can be used for vaccination.

"Our top priority has been protecting people around the country...vaccines are coming".

"These vaccines will be going to frontline healthcare workers first, and there are still uncertainties around the quantities we'll get and the timing of their arrival", Anderson said.

"If we were to find ourselves in a situation in Canada where it was reassuring for people, for public figures, for political leaders to be vaccinated, I would of course be very, very happy to be vaccinated if it helped", said Freeland in an interview on CTV's The Social on Monday.

Retired general Rick Hillier, tapped by Premier Doug Ford to lead Ontario's vaccine distribution task force, said the early doses will go to the most vulnerable in the hardest-hit areas.

In total Britain has ordered 40 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech shot.

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