Canada approves Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine

Canada approved Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine Wednesday, making it the second shot officially to roll out in the country.

Officials have said they expect doses of the Moderna vaccine to arrive in Canada within 48 hours of approval. Canada has inked a deal to get 168,000 doses of the vaccine by the end of December.

The news of Moderna’s approval comes after the first doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 were administered to Canadians last week.

Moderna said its vaccine is nearly 94.1 per cent effective in protecting people from coronavirus, and requires two doses, 28 days apart.

Unlike Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, which has strict cold-chain requirements, Moderna’s shot can survive in regular freezers, meaning it’s prioritized for delivery to the territories, remote Indigenous communities and long-term care sites.

Canada signed a deal in September for 20 million doses to be delivered at the beginning of 2021, with the option of increasing the supply to 56 million doses.

Health Canada is still reviewing two more vaccines, with AstraZeneca’s potentially needing more study before the regulator is ready to make a decision and the Johnson & Johnson review still in the very early stages.

Health Canada approved the vaccine from Pfizer-BioNTech Dec. 9, and the first doses began arriving in Canada on Dec. 13.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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