On February 26, Health Canada approved the AstraZeneca vaccine for immediate use, making it the third official vaccine authorized for use in the fight against COVID-19. It can be administered in people over 18 years of age.
AstraZeneca will join Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna on the list of authorized vaccines in Canada.
Speaking at a news conference, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the approval of the vaccine “very encouraging news”.
“It means more people vaccinated, and sooner,” Trudeau said.
Canada has pre-ordered 2 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine (PHOTO: Courtest of Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)
It is expected that 500,000 doses of the vaccine will be shipped to Canada this week as the country has already pre-ordered 2 million doses.
Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna have a reported 95% effective rate at preventing the COVID-19 virus, while AstraZeneca is about 62% effective.
Although the AstraZeneca vaccine has been approved in many parts of the world, such as the UK and the US, some countries are still unsure about whether to authorize it.
In Switzerland, AstraZeneca has been banned due to a lack of data on the vaccine’s efficacy.