Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday up to 249,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine will be available in his country before the end of this year.
The two-dose vaccine of US pharmaceutical firm Pfizer will be used to launch a mass inoculation campaign in Canada, first starting in Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec, with each province receiving doses proportionate to their population.
Trudeau said the vaccine will be delivered by Pfizer directly to 14 distribution centers in Canada that are equipped with cold storage, since the vaccine needs minus 80 degrees Celsius.
This makes the logistics of vaccine distribution "incredibly complex," Trudeau told CBC News, and it may take months for whole distribution to be completed.
"This is the largest mobilization of vaccines in Canada's history, and being able to start with a small number and rapidly scale up as the flow of vaccine doses starts increasing quite rapidly -- this is a good thing," he said.
The country's National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) said last week the limited quantity of initial doses should be reserved for high-risk people such as individuals in retirement homes, hospitals and staff members.
Canada has more than 421,000 cases and 12,721 deaths from COVID-19, according to Johns Hopkins University data on Monday.