Christmas comes early as first Moderna vaccines arrive in Canada

It may be only Christmas Eve, but Canadians are getting an early present with the arrival of the first doses of the highly-awaited Moderna coronavirus vaccine in the country.

One day after Health Canada authorized the new vaccine as safe for use in Canadians over the age of 18, the first precious doses of the vaccine began arriving on Canadian soil.

Read more: Canada approves Moderna coronavirus vaccine, 1st doses to arrive in ‘coming days’

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Procurement Minister Anita Anand shared photos on Twitter.

The Moderna vaccine is the second to be approved for use against the novel coronavirus.

But it will be the first deployed to the Canadian territories, because unlike the Pfizer vaccine already being rolled out in specific locations, the Moderna vaccine does not require ultra-code storage.

That means it can be transported and stored in regular freezers rather than the special ones needed to keep the Pfizer vaccine at -70 C.

Officials had said on Wednesday that they expected to see the first doses of the Moderna vaccine begin arriving within 48 hours of approval, and have hailed it as “critical” towards ensuring vaccines can be distributed fairly to those most in need.

Canada is set to receive 168,000 doses by the end of December, with 40 million doses in total expected  throughout the New Year.

Click to play video 'Coronavirus: Moderna’s vaccine approval ‘critical’ for equitable access, Health Canada officials say' 0:54 Coronavirus: Moderna’s vaccine approval ‘critical’ for equitable access, Health Canada officials say

Coronavirus: Moderna’s vaccine approval ‘critical’ for equitable access, Health Canada officials say

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