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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a November briefing in Ottawa. Photo: Lars Hagberg/AFP via Getty Images

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Monday that Canada will begin receiving the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine from next week.

Driving the news: "The first Canadians will be vaccinated next week if we have approval from Health Canada this week," Trudeau told a briefing confirming that the country will receive up to 249,000 doses of the vaccine by the month's end.

"The regulatory process needs to be as rigorous as it always is. There are no corners cut by Health Canada in terms of approving a vaccine for safe use by Canadians."
— Trudeau

Why it matters: Canada has secured more vaccine contracts than any other country, also ordering 40 million doses from Moderna, Bloomberg notes. In total, the country of 37.6 million would have enough to inoculate 154 million people if health regulators deem the vaccines safe.

The big picture: Canada has seen an uptick in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks. Authorities have imposed new restrictions on cities including the financial capital of Toronto after reporting some 6,000 new infections a day, Bloomberg notes.

  • The country reported 6,499 new cases Monday, taking the total to 423,054.

Go deeper: In photos: How the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded in 2020

Go deeper

Jan 29, 2021 - World

EU grants conditional approval of AstraZeneca vaccine

Photo: Sunil Ghosh/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

The European Commission on Friday granted conditional approval of the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine for people 18 years and older.

Why it matters: This is the third vaccine to receive approval from the commission, coming hours after the Emergency Medicines Agency recommended its authorization.

Jan 29, 2021 - Health

WHO says most pregnant women can now receive coronavirus vaccine

A doctor administering Moderna's coronavirus vaccine at a university hospital in Essen, Germany, on Jan. 18. Photo: Lukas Schulze/Getty Images

The World Health Organization has altered its guidance for pregnant women who wish to receive the coronavirus vaccine, saying now that those at high risk of exposure to the COVID-19 or who have comorbidities that increase their risk of severe disease, may be vaccinated.

Why it matters: The WHO drew backlash for its previous guidance that did not recommend pregnant women be inoculated with vaccines made by Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna, even though data indicated that pregnancy increased the risk of developing severe illness from the virus.