Health Canada approves Johnson and Johnson vaccine against COVID-19

Brenda Watkins
March 5, 2021

Johnson & Johnson is a one dose vaccine but has not been approved in Canada yet.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada has an agreement with Johnson & Johnson for 10 million doses between now and September.

"We have reasons to be optimistic."

The Liberal government had originally set a target of the end of September for every Canadian "who wants one" to get a vaccine.

The news from Pfizer that it will speed up deliveries comes after a marked delay in the national vaccination effort in January and February when the company made a decision to upgrade production lines at a major factory in Belgium.

Duggan issued a statement of his own Friday, expressing "full confidence" in the vaccine and announcing that his city will be opening a vaccination site offering Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

As of Thursday, 2.1 million doses of coronavirus vaccine has been administered in Canada.

The federal government has agreed to buy 10 million doses of Johnson & Johnson's single-dose vaccine, with the option to purchase another 28 million shots.

On Tuesday, the American clergy said that "if one has the ability to choose a vaccine, Pfizer or Moderna's vaccines should be chosen over Johnson & Johnson's". The regulator includes a fifth on its list of authorized shots: Covishield, which is a separate brand name for doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine produced at the Serum Institute of India.

Vaccines from Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca all require two doses.

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Canada has added a fourth vaccine to its fight against COVID-19.

As of Wednesday, 11% of Detroit residents age 16 and older had gotten at least one dose.

Johnson & Johnson's vaccine can be stored in a regular fridge for up to three months, the company says.

The spiritual leader of Northeastern Pennsylvania's Roman Catholic community has urged the faithful to receive any COVID-19 vaccine that is clinically safe and effective.

Per capita, America's COVID-19 death rate is five times higher than Canada's.

The vaccine had a 72 per cent efficacy in preventing COVID infections after 28 days in the company's USA trials. "We are making plans now for Johnson & Johnson to be a key part of our expansion of vaccine centers and are looking forward to receiving Johnson & Johnson vaccines in the next allocation", Duggan said in the statement.

The news from Pfizer that it will speed up deliveries comes after a marked delay in the national vaccination effort in January and February, when the company chose to upgrade production lines at a major factory in Belgium. "Given the grave danger this virus poses, it is morally acceptable to receive any of the current COVID-19 vaccines that have been determined to be clinically safe and effective", Bambera said, noting that the pandemic has left more than than 500,000 people dead in the United States alone.

With a population of nearly 38 million, Canada now expects 36.5 million doses of previously approved vaccines to be delivered by the end of June.

The new guidelines say the science shows a first dose is so effective that delaying the second dose so everyone can get a first dose more quickly, is better both for individual protection and to establish herd immunity in Canada.

"The important thing that we've learned is that these vaccines work, they give a very high level of protection and that protection lasts for many months", said B.C. Medical Officer of Health Dr. Bonnie Henry.

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