On the heels of Canada’s 2021-2023 Immigration Levels announcement, Health Canada approves both the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines. 30,000 doses expected to arrive within days with an additional 249,000 does expected by the end of the year, leaving Canadians hopeful for 2021.
After months of uncertainty, with countries around the world plunged into a state of emergency grappling with a relentless pandemic, hope is finally on the horizon.
On December 9 2020, Health Canada approved the Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine, becoming the third country in the world to do so, stating, the vaccine, “is safe, effective and of good quality”.
While the vaccine has been approved for the Canadian public, Health Canada has added some terms and conditions in order to monitor its efficacy and safety:
- Receiving further data on the safety of the vaccine as well as all final data from the clinical trials;
- Receiving additional data to ensure the quality of the vaccine is consistent;
- Receiving reports which monitor and track any side effects.
On the day it was approved, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted that 30,000 doses of the vaccine were expected to arrive at various locations in Canada, within days.
Trudeau is anticipating another 249,000 additional doses by the end of this month. The bulk of the doses (in the millions) will be arriving in the new year, launching Canada’s largest vaccination campaign in history.
Trudeau anticipates having the majority of the Canadian population vaccinated by fall 2021.
COVID-19 in Canada:
This much awaited and welcome news comes as the country continues to deal with a second wave of the virus.
When WHO first declared the pandemic, Premiers across Canada immediately sprang into action, implementing stringent lockdown measures. As a result, Canada was fairly successful at flattening the curve and keeping numbers down through the summer. But the second wave which began in the fall, is seeing large spikes in numbers. The country reached a grim milestone on December 19 2020 with over half a million (501,594) confirmed cases
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Canadians everywhere watched the first vaccine being administered on December 14 2020 with sighs of relief and tears of joy. Although the crisis is far from over, the approval of both the Pfizer vaccine and the approval of the Moderna vaccine on December 23 2020, is viewed as the first step towards winning the war against COVID-19 and life going back to normal.
Immigration in Canada – Next Steps:
With most of the world in lockdown and borders closed off, immigration levels in Canada saw a significant decrease in 2020. But with the promise of a vaccine in sight, Canada unveiled a very aggressive 2021-2023 Immigration Levels Plan in late October with the promise to welcome over 400,000 new immigrants annually, over the next three years.
Continuing with their plan to increase the number of immigrants, an Express Entry draw was also held on December 9 2020, where 5,000 candidates were sent Invitations to Apply (ITA) for Canadian permanent residency. In total, Canada sent out 102,350 ITAs in 2020, the highest number of ITAs the country has ever sent out since the program was launched in 2015.
December also saw the score on the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) drop from 469 points to 468, the lowest it has been in 2020.
What does this all mean? This demonstrates Canada’s commitment and intent to follow through with inviting large number of immigrants into the country for its economic and social growth.