Canada’s nationwide marketing campaign to inoculate folks towards the novel coronavirus obtained excellent news on two fronts at this time: one vaccine maker now plans to speed up its deliveries and federal regulators have cleared a fourth COVID-19 vaccine to be used on this nation.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stated at this time that, after negotiations with the federal authorities, vaccine producer Pfizer has agreed to maneuver up supply of three.5 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine — initially scheduled to reach in the summertime — to the subsequent three months.
The firm will ship an extra 1.5 million doses in March, a million extra doses in April and one other million in May, Trudeau stated, bringing the whole variety of doses of all accepted vaccines anticipated to reach by the top of this month to eight million.
The announcement got here simply hours after Health Canada accepted using Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine in Canada, offering provinces and territories with one other vaccine along with these beforehand accepted from Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca-Oxford.
A second model of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine that’s biologically similar however manufactured beneath completely different situations by the Serum Institute of India beneath the model identify “Covishield” has additionally been approved.
WATCH | Trudeau publicizes extra Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines are heading to Canada
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine, produced by the U.S. well being care large’s pharmaceutical subsidiary, Janssen Inc., is broadly seen as one of many best to distribute as a result of it requires just one dose and will be saved for lengthy intervals of time at common fridge temperatures of two C to eight C.
“As long as it takes, we’ll be there with what people need to get through this pandemic. That means we’re sending more and more vaccines to the provinces and territories in the coming weeks and months,” Trudeau advised a press convention at this time.
The new Pfizer supply schedule and the Johnson & Johnson approval are anticipated to speed up Canada’s vaccine rollout, which has thus far lagged behind dozens of different nations that have vaccinated extra folks per capita.
Watch: Doctor who helped create the Johnson & Johnson vaccine talks about its efficacy:
Johnson & Johnson secure and efficient: Health Canada
In approving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, Health Canada’s chief medical adviser stated a overview of information from a medical trial involving greater than 44,000 individuals discovered the shot is secure and efficient.
“As with all COVID-19 vaccines, Health Canada authorized the Janssen one after an independent and thorough scientific review for safety, efficacy and quality,” stated Dr. Supriya Sharma.
“After assessing all the data, we concluded there was strong evidence that showed the benefits of this vaccine outweigh the potential risks.”
WATCH | Public well being officers announce the approval of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine in Canada
Health Canada concluded the vaccine has an efficacy price of 66.9 per cent in stopping average to extreme COVID-19 sickness, and has approved it to be used for adults aged 18 and older.
While the vaccine is much less efficient than beforehand accepted vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna — each of which had efficacy charges of 90 per cent and above — Sharma stated the shot provides sturdy safety towards the threats that matter most: severe sickness, hospitalizations and dying.
“The efficacy rate does not mean that following vaccination with a vaccine with 66 per cent efficacy, that you will have a 34 per cent chance of contracting COVID-19,” stated Sharma.
“While each of the vaccines Health Canada has authorized has different efficacy numbers, the reality is that you will have a greatly reduced chance of getting COVID-19 with any of the … vaccines that have been authorized.”
Sharma stated the shot remained efficient towards the coronavirus variants first recognized in South Africa and Brazil, in addition to the dominant strains circulating within the U.S. and Canada.
Clinical trials are additionally underway for different vaccines to see how secure they’re for kids between the ages of 12 and 17, however Sharma instructed will probably be months but earlier than they’re capable of get the pictures.
Delivery schedule firming up
Canada has ordered 10 million doses from Johnson & Johnson, with choices for as much as 28 million extra.
While there isn’t any timeline for his or her supply simply but, Trudeau stated the president of Janssen Canada, Jorge Bartolome, assured him this morning that the corporate is working to arrange its world provide chains and plans to fulfill its supply commitments.
Health Canada has offered authorizations for manufacturing at two services — one within the U.S. and one in Europe — nevertheless it’s unclear proper now from the place Canada’s doses will likely be shipped.
Procurement Minister Anita Anand stated that the Johnson & Johnson doses aren’t anticipated to start arriving till April, though the complete order of 10 million needs to be delivered by September.
WATCH | Dr. Sharma addresses vaccine hesitancy
Canada now expects to obtain 36.5 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca-Oxford and the Covishield vaccines by the top of June. By the top of September, Canada may have obtained 117.9 million doses.
The June quantity will develop as soon as supply schedules for the 20 million doses on order from AstraZeneca and the 10 million from Johnson and Johnson are confirmed, Anand stated.
“Because of our diversified procurement, we are able to see an acceleration in doses coming to Canada from multiple suppliers,” stated Anand.
Pfizer’s accelerated supply schedule comes after main delays in January and February, when the corporate upgraded its manufacturing strains at a significant manufacturing unit in Belgium.
Production issues additionally slowed the preliminary rollout of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine within the U.S. after that nation accepted it in February. The nation was supposed to obtain 10 million doses as quickly because the vaccine was accepted, however solely 4 million doses had been shipped out March 1.
The U.S. expects to get one other 16 million doses by the top of March and 100 million whole by the top of June.
Only one vaccine continues to be beneath overview by Health Canada — the Novavax product. Sharma stated a choice on whether or not it may be utilized in Canada is weeks or months away.
Watch: Health Canada approves Johnson & Johnson vaccine: