With the approval of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine announced today by Health Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada will receive 6.5 million doses of vaccines by the end of March.
Today, Health Canada authorized for use the AstraZeneca ChAdOx1 COVID-19 vaccine. With that announcement, Public Services and Procurement Minister Anita Anand revealed Canada has secured two million doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
“In other words, we now have a third safe and effective vaccine independently approved by health experts in Canada,” the prime minister said in a news conference today. “This is very encouraging news.”
AstraZeneca has licensed the manufacture of the vaccine to the Serum Institute of India, which is marketing the vaccine under the name COVISHIELD. Verity Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc. of Mississauga is the sponsor of the Serum Institute-manufactured vaccine in Canada.
Those two million COVISHIELD doses are in addition to the 20 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine expected to arrive between April and June.
“The first 500,000 doses will be delivered to Canada in the coming weeks and will quickly be ready for distribution to the provinces and territories,” a federal news release stated today. “The remaining 1.5 million doses will arrive by mid-May.”
Because so many numbers have been tossed around, here’s a recap of Canada’s vaccine situation:
Pfizer will supply a minimum of 40 million doses and up to 76 million doses of its messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine developed with BioNTech, BNT162b2. The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine was approved by Health Canada on Dec. 9, 2020. Canada will receive four million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine before the end of March, and more than 1.5 million doses in the first half of April.
Moderna will supply 44 million doses of its mRNA vaccine, mRNA-1273. The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine was approved on Dec. 23, 2020. During the week of March 8, Canada is expecting more than 460,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine, and another 846,000 during the week of March 22. These deliveries mean we will have received more than two million doses in the first quarter.
AstraZeneca will supply 20 million doses of its viral vector vaccine, ChAdOx1. The AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine was approved on Feb. 26.
Other vaccines awaiting approval
Medicago, a Quebec-based biopharmaceutical company, will supply up to 76 million doses of its virus-like particle vaccine candidate, pending Health Canada approval.
Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline will supply up to 72 million doses of their protein subunit vaccine candidate, pending Health Canada approval.
Johnson & Johnson will supply up to 38 million doses of its viral vector vaccine candidate, Ad26.COV2.S, pending Health Canada approval.
Novavax will supply up to 76 million doses of its protein subunit vaccine candidate, NVX-CoV2373, pending Health Canada approval