Following Moderna’s approval of the Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine on Wednesday, Canada now has two pandemic-fighting vaccines – with enough doses to be given to all Canadians next fall.
The federal government signed an agreement with Moderna for 40 million doses of the vaccine, along with up to 76 million doses from Pfizer.
Also, there are agreements signed with four other vaccine manufacturers to provide up to 282 million doses, after approval by Health Canada. Two of those vaccines – one from Janssen from Johnson & Johnson, the other from AstraZeneca – are currently under review.
Johnson & Johnson
The pharmaceutical giant’s vaccine is being developed with subsidiary Janssen. It is a single-dose vaccine and has transitioned to phase 3 of the clinical trial.
The company said last week that about 45,000 participants in several countries have now signed up for the vaccine during testing that began in September.
If the testing goes on schedule, initial data on the effectiveness of the vaccine is expected to be released by the end of January.
Initial trials of the vaccine showed that 98% of participants developed antibodies against COVID-19 nearly a month after the injection.
Canada has signed an agreement with Johnson & Johnson to receive up to 38 million doses of the vaccine is approved.
Vaccines developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University in the UK are cheaper than other vaccines. It can also be stored for longer periods at normal freezer temperatures.
Data from the late-stage AstraZeneca trials in the UK and Brazil published earlier this month show that the vaccine is 62% effective for test participants given the full two doses, but 90 % for a smaller group received a half dose followed by a full dose. Aggregate data shows that vaccines are 70% effective.
The vaccine was submitted to Health Canada for review in early October. Just before the company registered, Ottawa signed an agreement to buy 20 million doses of the drug.
Health Canada said it is also conducting an overall review of the AstraZeneca data but has not said how much of the data has been reviewed so far. The timeline for approval has not been announced.
The Novavax company is doing end-stage testing in the UK with data due in the first quarter of 2021. It is expected to begin large-scale testing in the US this month, after multiple attempts. delay.
The company has yet to submit an application for consideration to Health Canada. However, the federal government signed an agreement allowing orders of up to 76 million doses upon approval.
A vaccine candidate developed by the Québec-based Medicago company is currently in clinical trial 1, showing promising results.
The federal government has invested up to $ 173 million in Medicago’s vaccine program and signed a deal to buy 76 million doses – when approved.
The grant will also help the company establish a large-scale vaccine manufacturing facility.
Unlike other vaccine candidates, Medicago produces virus seeds from infected plants that have been genetically engineered to produce the SARS-CoV-2 protein. Researchers can extract these seeds from the leaves and refine them.
Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline
Sanofi of France and GlaxoSmithKline of England announced the restrictions on December 11 in their vaccine development efforts.
According to the manufacturers of this drug, their drug shows inadequate immune response in the elderly in mid-stage trials, and they will begin a new study in February.
Canada will buy up to 72 million doses of the vaccine under a signed agreement with both companies if they advance to Phase 3 testing and get regulatory approval.
Trial of Pfizer and Moderna on children
Although approved, neither the Pfizer nor Moderna vaccines are used in children due to a lack of data.
Health Canada’s main medical advisor, Dr. Supriya Sharma, said on Wednesday that both companies are in the process of combining studies with child participants.
According to Sharma, recruitment for Moderna’s trials of children between the ages of 12 and 17 has been conducted, to recruit up to 3,000 participants.
Pfizer-BioNtech is also planning to study the effects of the vaccine on children 5 years of age and younger, likely to begin in spring.
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