Canada getting 168K Moderna covid vaccine doses before year end
Toronto, Dec 16: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Tuesday that Canada is contracted to receive up to 1,68,000 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine before the end of December, pending approval by Canada's health regulator.
Trudeau said deliveries could begin within 48 hours of regulatory approval and health officials said they expect to approve use of the Moderna vaccine soon.
Canadians began receiving vaccine shots developed by Pfizer and BioNTech on Monday and Trudeau said Canada expects to receive about 200,000 doses from Pfizer next week.
Canada received an initial batch of 30,000 this week. Trudeau said they will have 70 sites ready to administer these doses next week, up from 14 sites this week.
The US Food and Drug Administration said its preliminary analysis confirmed the effectiveness and safety of the vaccine developed by Moderna and the National Institutes of Health, bringing it to the cusp of US authorisation.
A panel of outside US experts is expected to vote to recommend the vaccine on Thursday, with a final FDA decision coming soon thereafter.
Moderna's vaccine is the same type as Pfizer's, made with the same technology.
In scrutinizing early results of a 30,000-person study, the FDA found it also worked just about the same.
The Moderna vaccine was more than 94 per cent effective overall at preventing COVID-19 illness, and 86 per cent effective in people 65 and older. The FDA uncovered no major safety issues.