Canada will be one of the first nations to receive a COVID-19 vaccine from biotech company Moderna, a company official said yesterday.
U.S.-based Moderna is seeking approval for emergency use of its vaccine from U.S. and European regulators. But it is yet unknown how long it may take for Health Canada to approve Moderna’s vaccine and other COVID-19 vaccines that the federal government has ordered.
Tal Zaks, Moderna’s chief medical officer, told The Globe and Mail yesterday that Canada would receive a vaccine supply from the company’s first batches of vaccines. Canada can expect to receive quantities between January and June of next year, the company said.
Canada has a procurement deal with Moderna to acquire 56 million doses. It will receive 20 million from pharmaceutical company Pfizer, which research shows is also a highly effective COVID-19 vaccine.
Last week, federal deputy chief public health officer Howard Njoo said he is expecting a total of six-million doses from the two companies by March. Health Canada must approve the vaccines before they can ship and be administered. Each vaccine is administered twice, so that is enough for three million Canadians.
Moderna said based on 196 cases of COVID-19 among its 30,000 study participants the vaccine was 94.1 per cent effective against COVID-19. It also said it stops 100 per cent of severe COVID-19 cases That means the vaccine would eliminate the deadly effects of COVID-19 which has killed 84 people in the Niagara Region, 3,663 people in Ontario, and 12,137 Canadians.
See today’s new case report for Ontario and Niagara: Click here