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BREAKING: Health Canada approves AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine

Canada has pre-ordered 20 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine
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OTTAWA — Health Canada has approved the COVID-19 vaccine from AstraZeneca, the third to be given the green light for national use.

Details of the approval and when Canadians might see doses begin arriving are due at a technical briefing later this morning in Ottawa.

Canada has pre-ordered 20 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which was co-developed by researchers at the University of Oxford.

It will also receive up to 1.9 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine through the global vaccine-sharing initiative known as COVAX by the end of June.

Vaccines produced by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna had already been approved by Health Canada. 

Approximately 1.7 million doses of those formulas have been administered in Canada.

Health Canada is also reviewing two other vaccines.

Approval of Johnson and Johnson's vaccine will likely not come until early March and Novavax is not expected until April.

The European Union has also approved the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca formulas.

AstraZeneca's vaccine, like Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna's formulations, requires refrigeration and takes two doses for maximum efficacy.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 26, 2021.

The Canadian Press