OTTAWA – Should Health Canada affirm the AstraZeneca and Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 antibodies, the government is intending to have shipments advance toward this country when that green light is given.
“Much the same as with Pfizer and Moderna… where I was on the telephone each day… to guarantee that we could have those antibody competitors in Canada quickly after administrative endorsement, I am likewise on the telephone with AstraZeneca and J&J [Johnson and Johnson] to guarantee coterminous or close coterminous conveyance of those immunizations when we have the administrative endorsement,” said Procurement Minister Anita Anand in a meeting on CTV’s Question period.
In the occurrences of Pfizer and Moderna, it required days between when the endorsement was conceded and when the principal portions were infused into the arms of Canadians. Canada has tied down admittance to 20 million dosages of the AstraZeneca immunization applicant, and up to 38 million dosages of the Johnson and Johnson antibody competitor.
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After Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stated on Friday that if AstraZeneca’s vaccine candidate was given the green light, the company would be sending all 20 million of its promised doses by the end of June, the PMO later clarified that Trudeau misspoke.
The 20 million AstraZeneca doses will arrive between approval and the end of September, with the delivery schedule for those doses to be confirmed after the vaccine is approved.
Anand said that it’s “possible” for Canada to receive up to 500,000 AstraZeneca doses prior to the end of March.
Canada is also set to receive a minimum of an additional 1.9 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine before the end of June, through the global vaccine-sharing effort known as COVAX.
Health Canada’s regulatory experts have been assessing the submission from AstraZeneca and Oxford University for safety and efficacy since Oct. 1, and the two-dose vaccine could be granted approval as early as next week, following several other nations.
It’s expected that Johnson & Johnson’s regulatory review could take a bit longer, as it was submitted to Health Canada on Nov. 30. That vaccine is a single-shot regimen.
“We are still in discussions to ensure that that one shot vaccine can come into the country as soon as possible after regulatory approval,” Anand said.
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Typically, the vaccine submission review process can take up to a year, but because of an emergency order, Health Canada has been able to expedite the authorization process. The order allows the agency to assess rolling information as it comes in from the pharmaceutical companies’ studies, rather than having to wait until the end of its work to begin reviewing the findings.
As of early January, Health Canada Senior Medical Advisor Dr. Supriya Sharma said the agency was expecting additional clinical and manufacturing information from both studies in the coming weeks, but so far the reviews were progressing “well.”
On Thursday, Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin said that contingency plans are being put in place to handle the potential addition of other vaccines into the logistical planning process, stating they are plotting out “multiple scenarios” that factor in seeing provinces able to leverage clinics and pharmacies as options for future vaccine administration sites.
News source: CTV news
Photo Credit:THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld