Coronavirus vaccine: Health Canada approves Johnson and Johnson vaccine

Lawrence Kim
Марта 5, 2021

"We welcome the updated direction from NACI that the interval between the first and second doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines can be safely extended to four months while maintaining a strong and sustained level of protection from COVID-19", said Alexandra Hilkene, a spokesperson for Ontario Deputy Premier and Minister of Health Christing Elliott in a statement.

Canada is in line to get 26 million more doses of Pfizer and Moderna, and at least 3.5 million of AstraZeneca by the end of June.

"Now as we're actually accumulating real world evidence in terms of the experience form multiple countries around the world, U.K., United States, Israel and so on, .its been shown to that you get very good protection after the first dose", he said.

In comparison, the federal government previously said 38 per cent of people would receive two doses by the end of June.

Johnson and Johnson, which was authorized in the United States last weekend, would join Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Oxford-AstraZeneca on Canada's list of approved vaccines.

The vaccine effectiveness of the first dose will be monitored closely and the decision to delay the second dose will be continuously assessed based on surveillance and effectiveness data and post-implementation study designs, the panel wrote.

But where the vaccine excels at convenience, it may fall short on overall efficacy - though there are a lot of factors at play, and it's crucial to note the shot is proving highly effective at reducing cases of serious illness.

The updated guidance applies to all COVID-19 vaccines now approved for use in Canada.

NACI said Wednesday that provinces can now wait up to four months before giving the second doses of COVID-19 vaccines.

Manitoba and Quebec also said Wednesday they will delay second doses.

"Health Canada will continue to monitor the safety of the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine once it is in use, in collaboration with the Public Health Agency of Canada, the provinces and territories and the manufacturer", says the federal health agency.

The US isn't exporting locally made vaccines, so Canada along with Mexico have been forced to get vaccines from Europe and Asia.

The decision should help the regulator authorize the boosters for use in Canada much quicker and is in line with the process used to approve new flu vaccines each year.

As reported Wednesday by The Associated Press, Roman Catholic leaders in St. Louis and New Orleans advised their parishioners that the COVID-19 vaccine from Johnson & Johnson, newly approved for use in the USA, is "morally compromised" because of its ties to an aborted fetus. "Those who, however, for reasons of conscience, refuse vaccines produced with cell lines from aborted fetuses, must do their utmost to avoid, by other prophylactic means and appropriate behavior, becoming vehicles for the transmission of the infectious agent", he said. The drug will not be doled out through mass immunization clinics but rather through a "different pathway", Solicitor General Sylvia Jones said.

Pope Francis received his first shot of the Pfizer vaccine in January.

Other provinces, including Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, are still mulling over the issue.

The vaccine can be stored and transported at refrigerated temperatures for at least three months, facilitating distribution across the country, Health Canada noted in a statement Friday morning.

As the Associated Press explained, Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine is made using a harmless cold virus, called an adenovirus, the same technology it used to produce a successful Ebola vaccine.

Canada has pre-ordered 10 million doses of the J&J vaccine, with options to order up to 28 million more.

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