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Canada approves Moderna COVID-19 vaccine

Last Updated Dec 23, 2020 at 1:27 pm PST

In this photo illustration a medical syringe seen in front of the Moderna multinational pharmaceutical corporation logo. Netherlands, November 29, 2020. Photo by Robin Utrecht/ABACAPRESS.COM hoto by Robin Utrecht/ABACAPRESS.COM

Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine has been approved for use in Canada

Health Canada's Moderna vaccine approval comes two weeks after Pfizer's COVID-19 shot was authorized

OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) – Health Canada has authorized Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine for use in this country.

This is the second COVID-19 vaccine to be approved for use by the federal agency. Moderna’s drug is only approved for use in people 18 years and older.

The Moderna vaccine requires people to get two doses, one month apart.

Moderna’s offering is easier to ship and store than its competitor’s drug — which has to be transported at extremely low temperatures. This difference makes Moderna’s vaccine an essential part of the country’s rollout in rural and northern parts of Canada.

Earlier this month, the prime minister announced Canada had secured a deal with Moderna to receive up to 168,000 doses of its drug by the end of December. Canada is set to get 40 million doses of the vaccine from this manufacturer into next year.

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Justin Trudeau said it was expected that vaccines would begin being delivered within 48 hours of approval.

“These doses are part of the guaranteed 40-million doses we have secured from Moderna,” Trudeau explained. “Between the early doses we’ve already received, and the shipments now scheduled, we’re on track to have at least 1.2 million doses from both Pfizer and Moderna delivered by Jan. 31.”

Major-General Dany Fortin is head of the country’s vaccine distribution effort and confirmed delivery to provinces and territories is on track for Dec. 28.

“Unless there are any issues weather-wise, everything is on track for that,” he adds

By September, Canada’s deputy chief public health officer says he believes everyone in the country will be able to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

“While vaccination gets underway, Canadians play a critical role right now right now in order to continue following public health orders,” Dr. Howard Njoo says. “We know Canadians are committed to protecting themselves, their families, and their communities.”

Approval of the Moderna vaccine comes two weeks after the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was given the green light, mobilizing a massive vaccine rollout program Canada-wide.

Watch the full Health Canada update here: 

-with files from the Canadian Press