Trudeau urges Canadians to 'hang on' after coronavirus vaccine news

FILE PHOTO: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks at a news conference held to discuss the country's coronavirus disease (COVID-19) response in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. November 6, 2020. REUTERS/Patrick Doyle

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Pfizer Inc's PFE.N announcement that its experimental COVID-19 vaccine is more than 90% effective is "very encouraging," Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Monday.

“We hope a vaccine is coming early next year. We’re seeing a light at the end of the tunnel,” he told a news conference. Canada has a deal with Pfizer for a minimum of 20 million doses of the vaccine.

A second wave of the coronavirus is sweeping across Canada, which is setting daily records for new infections. Canada has recorded 264,113 cases and 10,522 deaths so far, forcing some provinces to reimpose sweeping restrictions.

“The vaccine won’t help you or your family if you catch COVID now. We need to hang on - the next months are critical,” Trudeau said.

Canada has signed agreements with a number of major companies to access up to 358 million doses of their different COVID-19 vaccine candidates.

Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Paul Simao