Even though the COVID-19 pandemic has created a stronger global community in some ways with the bizarre, at-home experience we've all shared, there’s been a lot of discussion about which countries will get the vaccine first.
It’s turned into something of a race.
And while Canadians are known to be polite—my apologies if the stereotype offends you—we should not be mistaken for uncompetitive.
Just ask Dr. Supriya Sharma, Senior Medical Advisor at Health Canada, who explained away Health Canada’s priority placement ahead of the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the queue to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine with a casual: “We’re just better.”
Somebody call another doctor, because this one just burned a whole nation! Zing!
The comment drew laughter from the crowd, but as a good Canuck does, Sharma quickly followed up to rub the spot she’d just jabbed with, “We’re not in a race with any other regulator. What we’re trying to do is beat the virus and working against this virus.”
That’s a sentiment not entirely shared by others, including the current POTUS, who recently signed an “America First” vaccine order that directly contradicts his pledge to “work with the world.”
Regardless about what Twitter’s most “disputed” world leader believes, says, or signs, Canadians are set to receive up to 249,000 doses of Pfizer’s vaccine from Belgium this month, and between 20 million and 76 million doses from BioNTech and Pfizer Canada over 2021.
Meanwhile, Britain vaccinated its first citizens yesterday, including a man named, get this, William Shakespeare.
Sharma assured Canadians that, despite the speed of development, the treatment is safe and has been deemed so by Health Canada.
"The geek in me is amazed,” she said. “No one would have thought, even when we looked back at the first discovery of the virus, that less than a year later we would authorizing and distributing a vaccine... The vaccine was authorized only after a thorough assessment of the evidence demonstrated that it met Canada’s strict standards for safety, efficacy, and quality.”
Vaccines are slated to begin arriving in Canada on Monday, meaning the first Canadians could receive the shot as early as next week.