The first shipment of coronavirus vaccines manufactured in India arrived in Toronto on Wednesday morning. The consignment of 5 lakh doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine was sent by Pune-based Serum Institute of India. It was received by its Canadian partner, Verity Pharmaceuticals, located in Greater Toronto Area town of Mississauga.
During a media interaction, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, "Very early this morning, our first half a million doses of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine from the Serum Institute arrived in Canada. Already, the national operations centre has worked with provinces and territories to coordinate shipments of these vaccines across the country. Our priority is to get doses into arms as soon as possible."
There is an expiry date of about a month from now due to which Canadian health authorities are accelerating the process of administering the vaccine.
Member of Parliament for Oakville, and Minister of Public Services and Procurement Anita Anand shared a picture with the shipment of vaccine and said, "The AZ/CoviShield vaccine is now in. The first tranche of 500k doses arrived this morning from Serum Institute with 1.5 million more doses to follow. Thank you to all whose hard work made this happen. We look forward to future collaboration."
The AZ/CoviShield vaccine is now in 🇨🇦. The first tranche of 500k doses arrived this morning from @SerumInstIndia with 1.5 million more doses to follow. Thank you to all whose hard work made this happen. We look forward to future collaboration. 🙏🏽 pic.twitter.com/OL4s0vlcdU— Anita Anand (@AnitaOakville) March 3, 2021
Member of Parliament for Pickering-Uxbridge Jennifer O'Connell said, "This is incredible work - AstraZeneca was approved this past Friday & thanks to Minister Anita Anand, her team & the many others involved, 5 days later we've received 500,000 doses with 1.5M more on the way! We're now set to receive more than 6.5M doses by the end of March!"
Canada had authorised the Serum vaccine last week. It is the first Western nation and only G7 country to receive vaccines from India under the Vaccine Maitri initiative. After Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, AstraZeneca vaccine is the third vaccine to be cleared by Canada.