Canada approves AstraZeneca COVID vaccine

Rodiano Bonacci
Febbraio 27, 2021

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.

Sharma said the two vaccines are "for all intents and purposes", the same.

The difference is in where they are manufactured, she said, using the analogy of the same recipe made in two different kitchens.

If the J&J vaccine is authorised, U.S. officials expect to have only a few million doses to divide between states in initial shipments.

Given the current rates of vaccine development and production, experts estimate that most adults who want to be vaccinated should be able to do so by the summer, said Marc Siegel, an associate professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases at George Washington University. This is White House coronavirus response coordinator Jeffrey Zients. The agency also said J&J's shot is safe.

The J&J vaccine is also easier to handle, lasting three months in the refrigerator compared to the Pfizer and Moderna options, which must be frozen.

While J&J is seeking FDA authorization for its single-dose version, the company is also studying whether a second dose boosts protection. "This includes securing a highly diverse and extensive portfolio of vaccines and taking all necessary measures to ready the country to receive them", said Minister of Public Services and Procurement Anita Anand in the release.

Health Canada approves third COVID-19 vaccine
Canada approves AstraZeneca COVID vaccine

Analyses of different demographic groups, meanwhile, revealed no marked differences in the J&J vaccine's effects across age, race or people with underlying conditions.

Cases and hospitalizations have fallen dramatically since their January peak that followed the winter holidays. In the morning, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention official will highlight data on variants that are being closely watched for their threat to vaccine efficacy.

"While there has been an overall shift towards greater enthusiasm for getting a COVID-19 vaccination, the demographic groups that are the most enthusiastic, most cautious, and most resistant remain similar to those reported in January", the researchers wrote in the report.

"Based on the totality of the information, the benefit-risk profile of AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine is positive for the proposed indication in adults 18 years and over", Health Canada said in information posted online. More vaccines are in the pipeline.

The FDA's report comes two days before the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee are scheduled to discuss whether to grant J&J emergency use authorization.

Other parts of the world already are facing which-is-best challenges. All provinces have been receiving shipments of both the Pfizer-BioNtech and Moderna vaccines, whereas territories only receive the Moderna vaccine. AstraZeneca's vaccine, for instance, is cleared for use in Britain and Europe after data suggested it was about 70 percent effective.

Canada became the latest country Friday to allow use of AstraZeneca's vaccine.

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