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

West Shore Parks and Recreation facilities face a challenging future in terms of funding, due to reduced operations throughout the pandemic. (Black Press Media file photo)
West Shore Parks and Recreation faces challenging future

West Shore Parks and Recreation Society submits 2021 budget request to owner municipalities

BC Ferries experienced heavy traffic on Feb. 27 following cancellations the day before due to strong winds and adverse weather. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries sailings fill up quickly after cancellations on Friday due to high winds

Waits expected on Swartz Bay-Tsawwassen route, Horseshoe Bay-Departure Bay route

(Black Press Media file photo)
Saanich police seek suspect after woman nearly robbed while getting out of vehicle

Incident occurred before 7 a.m. Feb. 17 in parking lot off Cordova Bay Road

Saskatoon resident liajah Pidskalny poses with his bike near the University of Victoria after putting on thousands of kilometres to raise awareness of the overdose and mental health crisis. (Courtesy Iliajah Pidskalny)
Saskatoon cyclist winds up mental health and overdose awareness ride in Victoria

Iliajah Pidskalny braves prairie winter conditions to get word out to communities

Gabriel Swift, 23, is one of three Victoria filmmakers chosen to receive $20,000 Telus Storyhive grants to produce Local Heroes documentaries. (Courtesy of Gabriel Swift)
Three Victoria filmmakers producing ‘local heroes’ documentaries with $20,000 grants

Telus Storyhive providing $20,000 to 40 Western Canada productions

Abbotsford’s Kris Collins turned to TikTok out of boredom when the provincial COVID-19 lockdown began in March 2020. She now has over 23 million followers on the video app. Photo: Submitted
Internet famous: Abbotsford’s Kris Collins is a TikTok comedy queen

Collins has found surprise stardom alone with a phone

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Doctors and counsellors warn of an increase in panic attacks, anxiety, depression and suicide ideas between ages 10 to 14, in Campbell River. ( Black Press file photo)
Extended pandemic feeding the anxieties of B.C.’s youth

Parents not sure what to do, urged to reach out for help

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires B.C. wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents bill to delay B.C.’s budget as late as April 30, and allow further spending before that, B.C. legislature, Dec. 8, 2020. (Hansard TV)
How big is B.C.’s COVID-19 deficit? We’ll find out April 20

More borrowing expected as pandemic enters second year

The first of 11 Dash 8 Q400 aircraft's have arrived in Abbotsford. Conair Group Inc. will soon transform them into firefighting airtankers. (Submitted)
Abbotsford’s Conair begins airtanker transformation

Aerial firefighting company creating Q400AT airtanker in advance of local forest fire season

The Canada Revenue Agency says there were 32 tax fraud convictions across the country between April 2019 and March 2020. (Pixabay)
Vancouver man sentenced to 29 months, fined $645K for tax evasion, forgery

Michael Sholz reportedly forged documents to support ineligible tax credits linked to homeownership

Most Read