Trudeau says coronavirus vaccine news is 'light at the end of the tunnel'

By David Ljunggren and Steve Scherer OTTAWA (Reuters) - Pfizer Inc's announcement that its experimental COVID-19 vaccine is more than 90% effective is 'very encouraging' and Canada is looking to secure more doses of it, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Monday. 'We hope a vaccine is coming early next year. We're seeing a light at the end of the tunnel,' he told a news conference

Reuters November 10, 2020 00:12:20 IST
Trudeau says coronavirus vaccine news is 'light at the end of the tunnel'

Trudeau says coronavirus vaccine news is light at the end of the tunnel

By David Ljunggren and Steve Scherer

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Pfizer Inc's announcement that its experimental COVID-19 vaccine is more than 90% effective is "very encouraging" and Canada is looking to secure more doses of it, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Monday.

"We hope a vaccine is coming early next year. We're seeing a light at the end of the tunnel," he told a news conference. Canada has a deal with Pfizer for a minimum of 20 million doses.

The doses could be distributed during the first quarter of next year to high priority groups, Trudeau said. Canada may get the vaccine after the United States and Britain, but at about the same time as the European Union and others, a government source said.

While Trudeau said other vaccine candidates are expected to perform well, he said Canada was looking to secure more doses of the vaccine developed by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech SE.

"As for Pfizer, I know we have secured several million doses ... and obviously if it works we will buy more when they become available," he said. Trudeau added that there were logistical challenges to distributing the vaccine since it must be stored at very low temperatures.

"We don't have the infrastructure in place now to store the vaccine but I'm confident it will be in place in January," said the government source, who requested anonymity given the sensitivity of the situation. "We won't be able to get supplies into every pharmacy, certainly not immediately."

As is the case in many countries, a second wave of the novel coronavirus is sweeping across Canada, which is setting daily records for new infections. Canada has recorded 264,113 cases and 10,522 deaths so far, forcing some provinces to reimpose restrictions on gatherings and movement.

"We need to hang on - the next months are critical," Trudeau said. Canada has agreements with a number of major companies to access up to 358 million doses of their vaccine candidates.

(Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama, Paul Simao and Grant McCool)

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

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.