Canadian health authorities announced on Wednesday it has authorized the coronavirus vaccine from Moderna for use in the country, following the United States in approving the drug.
Canadian health officials said Moderna’s higher-temperature storage and handling requirements for its vaccine made it easier to distribute to isolated and remote communities.
“Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada will closely monitor the safety of the vaccine once it is on the market and will not hesitate to take action if any safety concerns are identified,” Health Canada said in a statement.
“This is the game-changer vaccine for sure,” Dr. Zain Chagla, an infectious disease specialist and associate professor at McMaster University, said. “For our long-term strategy for vaccinating all Canadians, the Moderna is probably going to be the workhorse vaccine. The Pfizer will probably be a vaccine in urban centers, in places where they’re able to set up the clinics that can do the Pfizer vaccine.”
In the United States, distribution of the Moderna drug started on Sunday after it was shipped to Louisville, Kentucky, and Memphis. Another Covid-19 vaccine by Pfizer/BioNTech’s began being administered in the United States last week.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said the country will get as many as 168,000 doses of the vaccine in December, with deliveries arriving between 24 and 48 hours after approval. SOVEREIGNPH