Canada approves AstraZeneca vaccine

By: Thomas I. Likness
EBC News Service

(Eagle News) — Canadians now have access to a third Covid-19 vaccine after Health Canada approved the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine Friday.

“This is very encouraging news. It means more people vaccinated and sooner,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told a news conference Friday. “With Pfizer, Moderna and now AstraZeneca, Canada will get to more than 6.5 million doses by the end of March.”​

“Vaccines will keep arriving faster and faster as we head into the spring,” said Trudeau as he reiterated his promise to have enough vaccine by the end September to immunize any Canadian who wants the shot.

In total, the government has been promised 20 million doses. The first half-million will arrive in the next few weeks. Another 1.5 million doses are expected by the middle of May.

Like the Pfizer and Moderna inoculants, AstraZeneca is a two-dose vaccine. The second dose is given one to three months after the first.

The vaccine has been approved for use in people over the age of 18. It’s considered safe for seniors, although some countries have restricted its use to people under 65.

According to Health Canada, the vaccine has an efficacy rate of 62 per cent.

“Overall, there are no important safety concerns, and the vaccine was well tolerated by participants,”  the regulator said in its decision

Because it can be stored in a regular refrigerator, the vaccine is ideal for use in remote areas.
(Eagle News Service)