Health Canada has approved use of the COVID-19 vaccine from AstraZeneca, adding another option to the Federal government’s vaccine rollout plans. Like the Pfizer and Moderna Vaccines, the AstraZeneca product requires two shots, but it does not require the level of super-refrigeration of the other two vaccines and is more portable.
Canada has ordered about 20 Million AstraZeneca vaccine doses, but an exact shipping schedule has not been released. The Vaccine had already been approved for us in the UK and other countries.
The Health Canada website noted, “AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine is indicated for active immunization of individuals 18 years of age and older for the prevention of coronavirus disease 2019.The efficacy of the vaccine was estimated to be 62.1 per cent. Overall, there are no important safety concerns and the vaccine was well tolerated by participants.”
Vaccine has been effective in other jurisdictions
Health Canada said their approval was based partly on some limited clinical trials but also on the actual experience with the vaccine as noted in countries where it has bee rolled out. The statement acknowledged that clinical trial results “were too limited to allow a reliable estimate of vaccine efficacy in individuals 65 years of age and older,” but the department was comfortable approving the shot because of “post-market experience in regions where the vaccine has already been deployed.”
At a news conference this morning Prime Minister Trudeau said Canada is still on track to have “tens of Millions of doses delivered over the summer, and he stuck to his pledge that every Canadian who wants a shot should still be able to get one by the end of September.
Procurement minister Anita Anand provided some addition details on Vaccine shipments.