Some of the country's initial 30,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines touched down on Sunday night, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Twitter, sharing a photo of a plane being unloaded.
“This is good news,” he said. “But our fight against COVID-19 is not over. Now more than ever, let's keep up our vigilance.”
The plane touched down at Mirabel International Airport in Montreal, the local airport authority said, adding that it wouldn't share any further details.
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines are bound for 14 distribution sites across the country, across all 10 provinces, and more doses are expected to cross the border on Monday.
Quebec is expected to be the first province to administer the vaccine, saying it's prepared to start inoculating residents of two long-term care homes as early as Monday.
It's being hailed as a miracle by Beverly Spanier, a 75-year-old resident of Montreal's Maimonides Geriatric Centre who is set to be among the first in Canada to receive the vaccine.
“We're celebrating Hanukkah, which is a time of miracles. It's absolutely a miracle that we're about to receive this vaccine so quickly,” Spanier said in an interview Sunday, before the vaccines' arrival.
Maimonides is one of two long-term care facilities in Quebec that will receive the first doses of the vaccine.
The other is Saint-Antoine in Quebec City, where public health officials said resident Gisele Levesque would be the first to be vaccinated.
In a press release, Levesque's nieces said she was calm and direct about being No. 1 on the list.
“I was chosen, of course,” she reportedly said.