Canadian public health officials said they believe regulators are about to approve Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose coronavirus vaccine within the next few days.
Dr. Marc Berthiaume, director of the bureau of medical science at Health Canada, said during a press conference on Thursday that he expects there will be good news on the approval of that vaccine shortly.
Earlier this week, Health Canada’s chief medical adviser, Dr. Supriya Sharma, said the review of the vaccine candidate was “going very well”.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine differs from other vaccines approved so far in that it provides a high degree of protection from the development of COVID-19 symptoms with a single dose instead of two.
Clinical trial data shows that this vaccine has an overall efficacy rate of 66%.
But that rate rises to 88% when it comes to the effectiveness of the vaccine in preventing serious illness and hospitalization for COVID-19, which is a key metric.
Canada has a contract in place for 38 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, with 10 million of those expected to be delivered by September, though specific timelines are not yet clear.
Dr. Howard Njoo, deputy chief public health officer, said officials are having conversations about whether the approvals could lead to the national vaccination timeline moving more quickly.
Njoo also emphasized that people can still infect others even if they get vaccinated, so Canadians must continue to practice public health measures that are already in place.
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