Canada became the third country to authorize use of the Covid-19 vaccine produced by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE, racing ahead of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Europe’s main regulator to approve shots for its most vulnerable citizens. Canada will now begin its immunization rollout as early as next week—a daunting challenge for a sparsely populated country with the world’s second-largest territory. The country is on schedule to begin inoculations next week, with a portfolio of vaccine candidates that it argues is among the most diverse among large economies.
The F.D.A. is expected to authorize use of the vaccine as early as this weekend, after its own study concluded the two-dose vaccine provided benefits even after just the first injection—cutting the risk of getting Covid-19 by about half. The vaccine was found to be 95% effective after the second dose. The European Medicines Agency has said a decision on either the Pfizer-BioNTech shot or Moderna Inc.’s vaccine could come by the end of this month. The U.K. and Bahrain approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine within the past week. Canadian officials said Wednesday they expected to soon issue a decision regarding the Moderna vaccine.
Indonesia Receives First COVID-19 Vaccine from China’s Sinovac
Indonesia received its first shipment of coronavirus vaccine from China on Sunday, President Joko Widodo said, as the government prepares a mass inoculation programme. Jokowi, as the president is widely known, said in an online briefing that the Southeast Asian country received 1.2 million doses from China’s Sinovac Biotech Ltd., a vaccine Indonesia has been testing since August.
He added that the government plans to receive another 1.8 million doses in early January. Late-stage trials of the Sinovac vaccine are also under way in Brazil and Turkey, with interim results on efficiency from Brazil expected by mid-December. Indonesia is also expected this month to receive shipments of raw materials to produce 15 million doses and materials for 30 million doses next month, the president said.