WEDNESDAY, Dec. 9, 2020 (HealthDay News) — The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine has been approved by Canada’s health agency and the first Canadians could start receiving it next week.

In announcing the approval on Wednesday, Health Canada said it had completed a full independent review of the data on the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness, The New York Times reported. Britain approved the vaccine earlier, but it was an emergency approval largely based on the Pfizer analysis.

Canada has ordered 6 million doses from Pfizer, and the first 249,000 doses are expected to arrive at 14 Canadian distribution centers next week, The Times reported. The Health Canada approval of the vaccine — which requires two doses — is limited to people older than 16 years. The health agency wants more data from Pfizer before approving the vaccine for children. Canada’s first shipment of the vaccine will come from plants in the United States and Belgium. Canadians could start receiving injections of the vaccine from U.S.-based Pfizer before Americans, The Times reported.

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