03:48 GMT24 January 2021
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    TORONTO (Sputnik) - The Canadian government is unfazed by US President Donald Trump’s protectionist COVID-19 vaccine strategy, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs Dominic LeBlanc told reporters.

    LeBlanc made the remarks just hours before Trump signed an executive order to prioritize domestic distribution of COVID-19 vaccines over their shipments to foreign countries.

    "We are very confident that Pfizer and other vaccine makers, that are contractually obligated to deliver doses to Canada, will be able to meet those obligations," LeBlanc said on Tuesday.

    The minister explained that Canada’s contractual terms stipulate the vaccine may be delivered from a range of production sites, including Europe, and reassured Canadians that the first deliveries will begin in days.

    A government official later confirmed to the state broadcaster, CBC, that "most, if not all" of the initial vaccine supply will originate from Pfizer’s production facility in Belgium.

    On Monday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters that Canada will receive up to 249,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses developed by Pfizer and BioNTech before the end of December, which will allow up to 124,500 Canadians to be vaccinated before the end of the year.

    ​Vaccine delivery is conditional on regulatory approval from Health Canada, although the prime minister said that emergency authorization is expected later this week.

    Tags:
    vaccine, United States, US, coronavirus, COVID-19, Canada
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