Canada’s review of Pfizer coronavirus vaccine will be completed ‘soon,’ health minister says

Health Minister Patty Hajdu said that Canada’s review of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine candidate is “expected to be completed soon,” as news has emerged Wednesday that the U.K. approved the vaccine.

In a tweet on Wednesday, Hajdu said the news out of the U.K. is “encouraging.”

Read more: Will Canada lag behind on coronavirus vaccines? It’s complicated, experts say

“The news that the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine has been approved in the U.K. is encouraging. Health Canada’s review of this candidate is ongoing, and is expected to be completed soon,” she said.

“Making sure a COVID-19 vaccine is safe before approving it is Health Canada’s priority, and when a vaccine is ready, Canada will be ready.”

Her comments echo recent statements from the chief medical adviser at Health Canada.

Canada has “similar timelines” to the U.S. and Europe for approval of the vaccine being developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, Dr. Supriya Sharma said last week.

Canada is reviewing Pfizer’s vaccine alongside the United States and Europe, which means the vaccine will likely obtain regulatory approval in Canada at the same time the United States gives the candidate its emergency authorization.

Click to play video 'U.K. becomes first country to approve Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine' 4:44 U.K. becomes first country to approve Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine

U.K. becomes first country to approve Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has a meeting on Dec. 10 to consider whether to give that vaccine the go-ahead

“There are multiple things happening at the same time. Health Canada, on the regulatory side, we’re doing our review. The companies that have already finished their clinical trials are working to do their manufacturing. The really complicated part of the vaccine manufacturing process is when they’re doing that scale-up, and they’re doing that now,” Sharma said last week.

She said the best timeline she can offer is that Canada will likely see a limited rollout of a vaccine in January next year, following the earliest possible regulatory approvals taking place this month.

More to come…

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

Article Source