A vial of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine is seen at Hartford Hospital, Monday, Dec. 21, 2020, in Hartford, Conn. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP /Jessica Hill

A vial of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine is seen at Hartford Hospital, Monday, Dec. 21, 2020, in Hartford, Conn. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP /Jessica Hill

Health Canada approves Moderna COVID vaccine; 1.2M doses of two vaccines expected by Jan. 31

Moderna and Pfizer are the two vaccines approved in Canada

Health Canada has approved the second vaccine against COVID-19. The Moderna vaccine was approved by interim order on Wednesday (Dec. 23) morning.

Canada is expected to get up to 40 million doses of the vaccine in 2021, enough to vaccinate 20 million people. The vaccine is considered to be upwards of 90 per cent effective when given in two 0.5 millilitre doses, one month apart.

At a press conference Wednesday morning, Dr. Supriya Sharma, Health Canada’s chief medical adviser, said up to 168,000 doses are set to arrive by the end of December and two million by the end of March. The first doses of the Moderna vaccine are scheduled arrive in the territories, which forewent Pfizer vaccine doses due to complications with shipping it, on Dec. 28.

At the second of a series of press briefings, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that Canada had secured an additional 250,000 doses of the previously approved Pfizer vaccine in January. Between both vaccines, the country is now expected to get 1.2 million doses (enough to vaccinate 600,000 people) by the end of January.

According to Health Canada’s authorization details, the vaccine is not approved for immunocompromised people, pregnant women and people under the age of 18. It is also not to be given to people with allergies to any of the ingredients or by those with current COVID-like symptoms. For a full list of ingredients and precautions, visit: https://covid-vaccine.canada.ca/info/moderna-covid-19-vaccine.html.

Sharma said that both Moderna and the previously approved Pfizer vaccine will both be running clinical trials in teenagers and children. Approval for children to take the vaccine will come pending positive results of those trials. Sharma said there is a good chance that vaccines will be approved for children sometime in 2021.

The most common adverse reactions seen in the clinical trials include 92 per cent of people having pain at the injection site, 70 per cent of people feeling fatigue, 65 per cent of people getting a headache, 62 per cent of people getting myalgia (muscle aches and pain) and 46 per cent of people getting chills.

The Moderna shot, like the one approved from Pfizer earlier this month, is an mRNA vaccine designed to teach cells how to make a protein that will trigger an immune response without using the live COVID-19 virus. That immune response will trigger the body to make antibodies which are meant to protect it from catching the virus. Each 0.5 millilitre dose of the vaccine contains 100 micrograms of mRNA.

Last month, the company announced that the vaccine will remain stable at 2 C to 8 C, the temperature of a standard home or medical refrigerator, for 30 days, instead of the seven days previously expected. After the 30 days, it must be stored at – 20 C, standard freezer temperatures. Compared to the Pfizer vaccine that must be stored in ultra-cold freezers, this is expected to make it easier to administer to long-term care residents and people living in remote communities.

The priority groups for the vaccine are long-term care workers and residents, frontline medical staff, Indigenous peoples and people over the age of 80.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Coronavirusvaccines

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

File photo
Castlegar sees spike in crime over winter

Local RCMP report increase in calls

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
36 new cases of COVID-19, one death in Interior Health

The number of active cases in the region is at 366

Jesse Teindl (left) is grateful for support in his fundraiser for research of a genetic disease that prematurely claimed the lives of his father Tim (right) and uncle Craig Teindl. Photo: Submitted.
Kootenay community steps up for Skinny Genes fundraiser

Fundraiser auction for rare genetic disease raises more than $10,000 for Skinny Genes Foundation

Kirk Duff is running for mayor in the upcoming Castlegar byelection Photo: Submitted
Third candidate enters Castlegar mayor’s race

Kirk Duff previously served 18 years as a city councillor

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the B.C. legislature press theatre to give a daily update on the COVID-19 pandemic, April 6, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. nears 300,000 COVID-19 vaccinations, essential workers next

564 new cases, four deaths, no new outbreaks Thursday

Walter Gretzky father of hockey hall-of-famer Wayne Gretzky waves to fans as the Buffalo Sabres play against the Toronto Maple Leafs during third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky, father of the Great One, dies at 82

Canada’s hockey dad had battled Parkinson’s disease and other health issues

Kelowna General Hospital (File photo)
Second death reported in Kelowna General Hospital COVID-19 outbreak

A total of seven cases have been identified at the hospital: six patients and one staff

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne speaks in the B.C. legislature, March 4, 2021. (Hansard TV)
B.C. Liberals, NDP sing in harmony on local election reforms

Bill regulates paid canvassers, allows people in condo buildings

(National Emergency Management Agency)
No tsunami risk to B.C. from powerful New Zealand earthquake: officials

An 8.1 magnitude earthquake shook the north of New Zealand Thursday morning

(AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)
Pandemic stress, isolation key factors as to why Canadians turned to cannabis, alcohol

Study found that isolation played key role in Canadians’ substance use

Grand Forks’ Gary Smith stands in front of his Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster float. Photo: Submitted
Grand Forks’ Flying Spaghetti Monster leader still boiling over driver’s licence photo

Gary Smith, head of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster of B.C., said he has since spoken to lawyers

Most Read