AstraZeneca’s Covid 19 vaccine approved by Canada
Health Canada has approved the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine and a related shot by the Serum Institute of India for use in this country with the first doses expected to arrive soon. Canada joins more than a dozen other countries that have given the green light to ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, the shot from AstraZeneca and Oxford University, which was among the first buzzed-about vaccine candidates in 2020.
Canada has secured access to 20 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which are slated to arrive in the second and third quarters of this year. Public Services and Procurement Minister Anita Anand has said the government is trying to negotiate a faster delivery of these shots with new, more contagious COVID-19 variants taking hold in Canada.
One major advantage is in logistics. The shot can be stored and transported at normal refrigerated temperatures, unlike its leading mRNA-based competitors, which require ultra-cold storage. The vaccine is administered in two doses, anywhere from four and 12 weeks apart, though some data suggests waiting longer between shots is preferable.
Another 1.9 million doses are also expected before the end of June through the international vaccine-sharing program known as COVAX, with the first 500,000 of those potentially arriving before the end of March. Those doses are made in South Korea.