Canada has approved the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine, days after the UK became the first country to greenlight it and roll it out.

"Today, Canada reached a critical milestone in its fight against Covid-19 with the authorization of the first Covid-19 vaccine," Health Canada said in a statement.

It said the vaccine had undergone a thorough independent review which concluded that it met "stringent safety, efficacy and quality requirements for use in Canada".

The government department said Canadians can feel confident the review process was "rigorous" and that strong monitoring systems are in place.

"Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada will closely monitor the safety of the vaccine once it is on the market and will not hesitate to take action if any safety concerns are identified," it said.

It said the initial indication of the vaccine is for use in people aged 16 or older, but Pfizer-BioNTech is running further clinical trials on children of all age groups.