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

The new Malahat Skywalk is expected to be completed by this summer. (Submitted graphic)
Malahat Skywalk expected to be complete by this summer

$15-million project will see 650-metre elevated wooden pathway constructed

Tim Schewe
Drivesmart column: It’s the highway’s fault!

One component of Vision Zero (our current road safety strategy) is highway design.

Moira Mercer spent her summer riding her e-bike around Cowichan Lake and beyond, collecting any empties she found along the way. (Submitted)
Lake Cowichan 2020 in review — conclusion

What were your top stories from 2020?

Staff meetings can be difficult when everyone has his own agenda. (Mary Lowther photo)
Mary Lowther column: Garden additions at request of staff

I’ll sow the catnip in flats on the seed table inside

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

Williams Lake physician Dr. Ivan Scrooby and medical graduate student Vionarica Gusti hold up the COSMIC Bubble Helmet. Both are part of the non-profit organization COSMIC Medical which has come together to develop devices for treating patients with COVID-19. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Group of B.C. doctors, engineers developing ‘bubble helmet’ for COVID-19 patients

The helmet could support several patients at once, says the group

A 17-year-old snowmobiler used his backcountry survival sense in preparation to spend the night on the mountain near 100 Mile House Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021 after getting lost. (South Cariboo Search and Rescue Facebook photo)
Teen praised for backcountry survival skills after getting lost in B.C.’s Cariboo mountains

“This young man did everything right after things went wrong.”

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on December 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No place for ‘far right’ in Conservative Party, Erin O’Toole says

O’Toole condemned the Capitol attack as ‘horrifying’ and sought to distance himself and the Tories from Trumpism

A passer by walks in High Park, in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. This workweek will kick off with what’s fabled to be the most depressing day of the year, during one of the darkest eras in recent history. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
‘Blue Monday’ getting you down? Exercise may be the cure, say experts

Many jurisdictions are tightening restrictions to curb soaring COVID-19 case counts

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will harm struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

Everett Bumstead (centre) and his crew share a picture from a tree planting location in Sayward on Vancouver Island from when they were filming for ‘One Million Trees’ last year. Photo courtesy, Everett Bumstead.
The tree-planting life on Vancouver Island featured in new documentary

Everett Bumstead brings forth the technicalities, psychology and politics of the tree planting industry in his movie

Most Read