Health Canada to decide on AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in ‘coming days’

On the heels of approval by European regulators, Health Canada said it expects a decision on AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine “in the coming days.”

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Health Canada has been reviewing AstraZeneca and Oxford University’s vaccine since it was submitted for approval on Oct. 1 as more and more data has arrived from the manufactuer.

The agency said it is in the midst of reviewing final data, but suggested it could be greenlit sooner than later.

“The Department is currently completing its review of the submitted data and expects to make a decision on the authorization of the AstraZeneca vaccine in the coming days,” Health Canada said in a statement on Jan. 29. “While the Department collaborates with other regulators, it remains committed to conducting an independent and thorough scientific review of all COVID-19 vaccines.”

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Coronavirus: U.K. administers 1st shots of AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine – Jan 4, 2021

Health Canada has been working closely with international regulators on approvals of different vaccines.

The agency said it has been reviewing AstraZeneca’s in collaboration with the European Medicines Agency, which on Friday recommended approving the vaccine for people over the age of 18. The decision still requires final approval from the European Commission, a process that occurred swiftly with the other vaccines.

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Should Canada decide to approve the AstraZeneca vaccine, it would set in motion the agreement Canada signed with the company for up to 20 million vaccine doses. Those doses are slated to be delivered in 2021, according to that agreement.

Health Canada has already authorized two vaccines for use in Canada. The first, manufactured by Pfizer-BioNTech, was approved on Dec. 9. Just weeks later, on Dec. 23, Moderna’s vaccine was also approved.

— with files from the Canadian Press 

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