France receives the first batch of the coronavirus vaccine.
Image Credit: Stephane De Sakutin/AFP
On Saturday, France received the first batch of the coronavirus vaccine manufactured by Pfizer/BioNTech. The vaccine was brought in by a refrigerated truck, which contained around 19,500 doses, created by the Pfizer factory in Puurs, Belgium.
On Friday, before the announcement of the scheduled delivery of the vaccine in France on Saturday, the health ministry confirmed its first case of the new variant of the virus, which was found in a individual returning from the UK. Several countries have identified this new strain, which is more contagious. Pfizer believes that their vaccine is effective against this new variant.
The delivery of the vaccine doses were received by Paris. After repackaging, the vaccine doses will be sent to a hospital in Sevran, which is located outside Paris, and to an elderly home in Dijon, east of France.
All European Union (EU) member countries are scheduled to receive the vaccine doses this week, after the European Medicines Agency (EMA) approved the use of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine on December 21. All 27 EU member countries will start vaccinations on Sunday.