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

Emergency crews and animal control responding to a struck pedestrian and limping dog at Quadra and View streets Wednesday morning. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Pedestrian struck at Quadra and View

Emergency crews on scene

The Farm Fresh website makes it easy to connect with local farmers. (Courtesy Farm Fresh)
Island Farm Fresh Guide lets residents explore local product

Guide appears in this week’s edition of Black Press Media newspapers from Duncan to Victoria

Grandmothers to Grandmothers is a campaign that connects Canadian grandmothers with grandmothers in Africa who are caring for children orphaned by AIDS. Here, they are in Kakuto, Uganda in 2018. (Kibuuka Mukisa Oscar photo)
Greater Victoria and African grandmothers celebrate solidarity with virtual concert

Grandmothers to Grandmothers supports women in Africa caring for children orphaned by AIDS

A grey whale off the coast of Vancouver Island is being monitored by Canadian and U.S. researchers, as it has developed lesions after being tagged last year. To try and prevent systemic infection from developing, the team administered antibiotics to the whale on March 31 and April 1. (Photo from the NOAA Fisheries website)
Grey whale off Vancouver Island develops lesions after being tagged, researchers monitor its condition

Canadian and U.S. whale experts administered antibiotics to the animal on March 31, April 1

Sooke’s Whiffin Spit in a blaze of glory. (Pete Knight photo)
Whiffin Spit in a blaze of glory. Transition Sooke is calling on the municipality to slow its growth. The group came up with a growth scenario proposal for the Official Community Plan (OCP) which looks different to than the survey scenarios that emerged from the district. (Pete Knight photo)
Transition Sooke calls for slower growth rate

Group submits alternate growth scenario for Official Community Plan review

A person receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. sees 873 more COVID-19 cases Tuesday, decline continues

Hospitalizations up to 377, two more deaths for 1,515 total

Two men walk past a sign on Main Street in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Calls for government transparency in COVID data continue as B.C.’s 3rd wave wears on

Social media, where both information and misinformation can spread like wildfire, has not helped

Sharis Carr, a nurse at the Aaron E. Henry Community Health Service Center in Clarksdale, Miss., holds a box containing doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine Wednesday, April 7, 2021. The U.S. is recommending a “pause” in using the single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to investigate reports of potentially dangerous blood clots. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
EXPLAINER: What’s known about COVID vaccines and rare clots

These are not typical blood clots – they’re weird in two ways

A man sustained burns to his body near this spot around 3:30 a.m. Tuesday, April 13 in Courtenay. The fire was left of the pathway. The Station youth housing facility and city public works yard are to the right of the trail. Photo by Terry Farrell
Man catches fire sleeping while outdoors in downtown Courtenay

Firefighters say man still burning when they arrived after he fell asleep next to his fire

Titanic was the largest and most luxurious ship in the world. Photo provided and colourized by Jiri Ferdinand.
QUIZ: How much do you know about the world’s most famous shipwreck?

Titanic sank 109 years ago today, after hitting an iceberg

Two men were seen removing red dresses alongside the Island Highway in Oyster Bay. (Submitted photo)
Observers ‘gutted’ as pair filmed removing red dresses hung along B.C. highway

Activists hung the dresses to raise awareness for Indigenous Murdered/Missing Women & Girls

B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
Tougher COVID-19 restrictions in B.C., including travel, still ‘on the table’: Horgan

John Horgan says travel restrictions will be discussed Wednesday by the provincial cabinet

RCMP on scene yesterday at the altercation at the trailer park. (Submitted photo)
Violent altercation at Port Hardy trailer park sends one to hospital

Police say man confronted another over airsoft shooting, then was attacked with a weapon

Most Read