Health Canada considers 4th vaccine, Canadians not worried about having to wait

By News Staff

Federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu says Johnson & Johnson has submitted its COVID-19 vaccine candidate for Health Canada’s approval.

It’s the fourth potential vaccine sent for assessment in Canada and the first that would require one dose to confer immunity instead of two.

Health Canada has been examining vaccine candidates from Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca since October, when those companies sent partial data on their drugs for what’s called a “rolling review.”

If the Johnson & Johnson vaccine meets Health Canada’s standards for safety and effectiveness, the Canadian government says it has a deal to buy 10 million doses and an option on up to 28 million more.

Ontario premier Doug Ford is expected to speak to Janssen – a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson – on Tuesday after meeting with Pfizer and AstraZaneca on Monday. He has another meeting with Moderna’s representatives scheduled for next week.

Ford says he is still looking for answers when it comes to a vaccine rollout.

“When we can we expect are fair share,” says Ford. “I need a date, I’ve been asking and asking.”

Ford went on to say that while he isn’t accusing anyone specifically, to him the lack of answers signals either dishonesty or incompetence.

Manufacturers Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca have all filed applications to have their vaccine candidates approved in Canada.

A new Leger poll finds that about 50 per cent of Canadians aren’t worried other countries may have access to COVID-19 vaccines first. Another 10 per cent say they have no intention of getting vaccinated anyway.

The chairman of  Moderna has already said that Canada is near the front of the line to receive 20 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine it pre-ordered.

The drug maker is now applying for emergency use authorization in the U.S. as it unveiled very encouraging results in its latest clinical trial. It could mean vaccinations start in the U.S. before Christmas.

With files from the Canadian Press.

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