The announcement people have been waiting for has arrived, as Health Canada has officially approved a COVID-19 vaccine.

The news came on December 9 that the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine candidate had officially been approved for use by people 16 years of age or older.

It was first submitted to Health Canada on October 9, and was put through a "thorough, independent review."

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Canadians can feel confident that the review process was rigorous and that we have strong monitoring systems in place. Health Canada

Health Canada ultimately determined that the vaccine met its safety, efficacy, and quality requirements.

"Today's decision from Health Canada is a historic moment in our collective fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and is a major step towards returning to normalcy in Canada," Cole Pinnow, President of Pfizer Canada said in a statement.

A collection of documents related to the approval will be made public, including a summary of evidence that was part of the review.

A trial run to ensure the safe delivery of doses across the country is taking place today.

The government has mapped out which people will be the first to receive the vaccine, including high-risk groups and frontline healthcare workers.