Canada approves AstraZeneca COVID vaccine

Ross Houston
February 27, 2021

An advisory panel of vaccine experts meets Friday to discuss the findings, with the FDA set to authorize the vaccine as early as Saturday. Newfoundland and Labrador reported four new cases of COVID-19 while Nova Scotia added 10 more to its tally.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is expected to quickly follow the recommendation and make J&J's shot the third vaccine authorized for emergency use in the U.S. Vaccinations are picking up speed, but new supplies are urgently needed to stay ahead of a mutating virus that has killed more than 500,000 people in the country.

The challenge will be explaining how protective the J&J shot is after the astounding success of the first USA vaccines.

It has been found to be about 62 percent effective in preventing infection, compared to more than 90 percent for the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines that are based on different technology.

More than half of Americans said they have already gotten at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine or want to get vaccinated as soon as possible, the Kaiser Family Foundationreported Friday. After adding in moderate cases, the total effectiveness dropped to about 66 per cent. "Since we usually get our allotment in Alberta on a per capita basis, 55,000 to 60,000 (doses) for us".

Health Canada approves third COVID-19 vaccine

State health officials urged people not to get too caught up in differences between efficacy rates between the different vaccines, because they are all effective in preventing COVID-19 deaths and hospitalizations.

An emergency use authorization (EUA) would soon follow, making the J&J vaccine the third to be greenlighted in the United States after Pfizer's and Moderna's were provisionally approved in December.

Despite declining cases, hospitalisations and deaths, government scientists warned that circulating variants could slow progress against the pandemic.

J&J's "robust" coronavirus vaccine generates a lasting immune response in an early-stage clinical trial.

"We are not out of the woods yet", said Adam MacNeil of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Murphy said the state has already been notified of the first shipment.

Johnson & Johnson said the company is ready to provide approximately 20 million shots by the end of March, along with an additional 100 million doses over the summer. "When it's your turn, you should take whichever one is offered".

Still, the nuances of the vaccines raise ethical questions. For example, it's a logical choice for homeless shelters where people may have moved on before their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.

"I'm very anxious about how that would be perceived", Balcezak said.

"So the thing about them is they're much easier to work with so they're just stored at fridge temperatures like we'd see with normal flu shots, they're also much easier to transport", said Kelly Grindrod, a professor at the University of Waterloo's School of Pharmacy.

"I think I was a little bit surprised that Health Canada did approve it for folks who are 65 and older". AstraZeneca's vaccine, for instance, is cleared for use in Britain and Europe after data suggested it was about 70 percent effective.

At this point in the vaccine rollout, it's hard to get any vaccine, much less a particular brand.

In the U.S., health officials say it's critical for the government to send a clear message.

Other reports by iNewsToday