Canada approves Moderna's COVID-19 shot, extends ban on flights from UK

By David Ljunggren and Julie Gordon OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada approved Moderna Inc's coronavirus vaccine on Wednesday, the second country to do so, paving the way for health authorities to step up an inoculation campaign against a worsening second wave. 'Know however dark the winter will be, spring is coming and better days will be back,' Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told a regular briefing

Reuters December 24, 2020 01:10:48 IST
Canada approves Moderna's COVID-19 shot, extends ban on flights from UK

Canada approves Modernas COVID19 shot extends ban on flights from UK

By David Ljunggren and Julie Gordon

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada approved Moderna Inc's coronavirus vaccine on Wednesday, the second country to do so, paving the way for health authorities to step up an inoculation campaign against a worsening second wave.

"Know however dark the winter will be, spring is coming and better days will be back," Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told a regular briefing.

Canada will receive up to 168,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine by the end of the year. By Jan. 31, it should have almost 1.2 million doses from both Moderna and Pfizer, whose vaccine Ottawa approved earlier this month, he said.

Trudeau also announced Canada would extend a 72-hour ban on passenger flights from Britain to Jan 6, citing a new and more infectious variant of COVID-19.

A second wave of the novel coronavirus is sweeping Canada and medical officials in some parts of the country say the health care system is under dangerous strain. Canada has recorded a total of 14,425 deaths and 521,509 cases.

Trudeau urged Canadians to stay at home, saying "even if you travel every winter, please rethink your plans ... the situation is very serious."

Authorities have begun administering Pfizer's vaccine to priority groups such as health workers and the elderly.

The United States approved the Moderna vaccine on Friday. It needs to be stored and shipped frozen but does not require the ultra-cold temperatures of the shot Pfizer developed with German partner BioNTech.

"(This means) it can be distributed to isolated and remote communities," Canada's health ministry said.

Shares of Cambridge, Massachusetts based Moderna pared losses after the approval was announced and later posted gains, trading up 3.2% at $129.94.

(Additional reporting by Moira Warburton in Toronto; Editing by Bernadette Baum, Barbara Lewis and Cynthia Osterman)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

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