Canada approved Oxford-AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine on Friday, making it the third officially approved shot in the country

Health Canada approval follows that of Pfizer and Moderna, both of which also require two doses

The AstraZeneca shot is less effective than its competitors’ injections in clinical trials – 62 percent at preventing symptomatic cases compared to the high 90s – but it offers distinct advantages

A big advantage lies in the logistics. Unlike its leading mRNA-based competitors, which require ultra-cold storage, the shot can be stored and transported at normal refrigeration temperatures

AstraZeneca has agreed to deliver up to 20 million doses to Canada in the second and third quarters of this year, on top of the 23 million combined doses that Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna expected during the same period

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Friday that two million additional doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine will be manufactured by the Serum Institute of India and shipped to Canada

Federal officials say 500000 of these cans “will arrive in the coming days” The remaining 1In the next few months, 5 million cans will arrive in Canada

In addition, Canada expects 9 million doses of AstraZeneca by the end of June via COVAX, the global vaccine exchange initiative

While the official delivery schedule is still to be confirmed, Minister of Procurement Anita Anand suggested that Canada’s goal of getting vaccines available to anyone wanting a vaccine by September could possibly be met sooner

“In any case, we are increasing the cans and shipments of cans to meet the goal,” she said on Friday

One of the reasons is a mix-up of dosages during clinical trials.Some volunteers, according to Dr Supriya Sharma, the Chief Medical Officer of Health Canada

The age of the study participants also made it difficult to determine the rules of who the vaccine was to use and for whom, as the first two phases of the AstraZeneca studies did not include people over 65 years of age

Health Canada has approved the shot for all adults – anyone aged 18 and over, Sharma said that while the vaccine has not been tested on people over 65 years of age, it has “emerging, promising” real-world data from countries already using the product, suggest it is safe and effective for older age groups

“For someone 65 and over, the question is whether the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the non-vaccine risks The answer to that is yes, based on all the information we have, “Sharma said at a briefing on Friday

If other vaccines are available, Sharma recommends from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) which one is best for which population.From there, the provinces and territories must decide how and to whom to distribute each vaccine

“If this vaccine is above the others it will help raise the immunity of the population,” she said

The vaccine contains two doses. The second can be given between four and 12 weeks after the first

“There is evidence that the longer the dosing intervals, the greater the effectiveness This was reflected in the clinical trials, “said Sharma

“Within this range there are some trends in the data that show that closer to 12 weeks you can actually see a better immune response, that is, more potency, more potency. The problem with the trials is that the numbers are not enough to recommend this timeline only ”

As with other vaccines, the most common side effects include injection site tenderness, headache, and fever. The vast majority of side effects in studies are “mild to moderate,” said Sharma, and “resolved in a few days” ”

Recent studies suggest the shot could offer a number of significant benefits.Preliminary results from Oxford University, co-developer of the vaccine, suggest it may also reduce virus transmission and provide strong protection for three months with just one Single dose offers

So far, manufacturers of all vaccines have stated that their shots have been shown to be extremely effective in protecting people from diseases caused by the virus However, it was unclear whether the drugs could also suppress the transmission of the virus

It can also be a strong contender for protection against COVID-19 variants, especially B.117 variant

The companies have said their vaccine has similar effectiveness against the variant first circulated in the USK but has since shaped Canada, especially in Ontario and Alberta

Preliminary data, however, suggest that the vaccine only offers “minimal protection against mild or moderate disease” of the B1351 variant. This variant was first found in South Africa and is now the dominant form of the coronavirus in that country. The results prompted that Country to discontinue use of the product earlier this month

The study, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, has generated skepticism among Canadian experts who say it is premature to reach conclusions

Oxford University, co-developer of the vaccine, said their researchers are in the process of optimizing the product to ensure better protection against the variant

A bitter dispute between the drug manufacturer and the European Union has raised the risk of export controls that could block shipments to non-EU countries like Canada

Recently, the company has been embroiled in supply issues with the EU. Initially, it was reported that the drug maker could not meet its delivery obligation to the EU in the second quarter due to production issues, but the company later pulled back and insists on keeping the promise adhered to

Canada will get the majority of its vaccines from the U.S., but possibly also factories in Europe

Trudeau has claimed that possible action by the EU would not hinder Canada’s supply agreement The threat has not yet impacted supplies of other approved Canada’s vaccines such as Moderna

As for the US.Trudeau said Friday that “all the indications” so far are that the vaccines will get to Canada with no problems

The AstraZeneca vaccine has already been approved in the EU and in several countries, including the USK The World Health Organization also gave the shot its approval earlier this month for vaccination to begin in developing countries

From a global perspective, its low cost is also a huge benefit.It costs approximately $ 4 ($ 5) per dose

AstraZeneca, which aims to produce up to three billion cans by 2021, has committed to selling its product worldwide at cost by at least July

AstraZeneca Vaccine

World News – CA – Canada Approves AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 Vaccine

Source: https://globalnews.ca/news/7629162/astrazeneca-covid-vaccine-approval-canada/