COVID-19 Update for December 23 2020 – 2:05pm

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed Health Canada approval of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, and announced a two-week extension on the ban of U.K. flights into Canada as well as a new Chief of Defense Staff.

Moderna Vaccine

Prime Minister Trudeau announced that the first shipment of the Moderna vaccine – part of Canada’s order of 40 million doses – will be arriving in the next two weeks. He also noted that an additional 250,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine have been secured, resulting in a total of 1.2 million vaccine doses to be administered in Canada by the end of January. Trudeau reiterated the timeline that Canada is on track to vaccinate any Canadian that would like to receive the vaccine by September 2021.

U.K. Travel Ban

Citing ongoing concerns about a fast-spreading COVID-19 variant discovered in the United Kingdom, Trudeau announced that the current travel ban on flights to and from the U.K. will be extended by two weeks, until at least January 6.

New Chief of Defense

With Canada’s military deeply involved in COVID-19 challenges – from taking over long-term care homes to vaccine distribution – the appointment of a new Chief of Defense Staff takes on added heft. Trudeau announced that Royal Canadian Navy commander Vice-Admiral Art McDonald will lead the Canadian Armed Forces.

McDonald will replace retiring General Jonathan Vance.

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