Public Services and Procurement Minister Anita Anand mentioned at present that Canada is prepared to deploy a brand new COVID vaccine from Johnson & Johnson’s pharmaceutical division, Janssen, as soon as it receives regulatory approval from Health Canada — however she could not say what number of shots will be accessible within the coming weeks.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s vaccines and associated organic merchandise advisory committee will meet Friday to evaluate the scientific trial knowledge for this vaccine. A remaining U.S. choice on issuing emergency use authorization (EUA) may comply with as early as this weekend.
The similar FDA committee met in early December to evaluate Pfizer’s vaccine and, a day later, the EUA was issued. Later that month, the FDA committee met to evaluate the Moderna vaccine and an EUA was granted the following day.
Health Canada may make the identical choice in a matter of days. The U.S. and Canada have been in synch on previous COVID-19 vaccine approvals.
A spokesperson for the division mentioned Health Canada “intends to be as aligned as possible with the decisions of our key regulatory partners, once all of the data required to make a decision has been received and reviewed.”
“Health Canada continues to receive data from Janssen,” the spokesperson informed CBC News.
WATCH: Anand supplies an replace on Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine
Canada has ordered 10 million doses from Johnson & Johnson with choices for up to 28 million extra, if essential. Most of these shots are anticipated to arrive by the tip of September.
Anand mentioned she had a dialog with executives from Johnson & Johnson final week “to ensure we are on target in terms of those deliveries and to press them on when precisely those deliveries would be arriving in Canada.”
Drug makers ‘reluctant’ to set deadlines with out approvals: Anand
Asked if she is aware of what number of doses will be delivered within the second quarter of this yr — when Canada’s vaccination marketing campaign is anticipated to ramp up — Anand mentioned “that is a negotiation that we are currently engaged in and I will provide information relating to the details of those deliveries as soon as I have them.”
Anand mentioned it is “too early” to say what number of doses, if any, Canada will obtain within the April by way of June interval.
She mentioned vaccine producers are “reluctant” to present agency supply dates with a regulatory evaluate course of nonetheless pending, however she has assured Johnson & Johnson that “Canada is ready for the deployment and distribution of vaccines” and that these shots will be put to use instantly.
Last month, the corporate confirmed with U.S. officers that it was on monitor to ship 100 million doses to the American market by the tip of June. “We’re very confident and on track to meet all of our commitments,” the corporate’s CFO, Joseph Wolk, informed CNBC.
Dr. Richard Nettles, vice-president of medical affairs at Janssen, informed the U.S. congressional power and commerce subcommittee at present that 4 million doses will shipped to factors within the U.S. instantly after it secures an EUA. At least 20 million extra will be delivered by finish of March, Nettles mentioned.
The firm has signed offers to produce shots at plants in Indiana, Maryland and Michigan within the U.S. and different amenities in Europe so as to meet its contractual obligations.
The firm’s Canadian division has not but supplied related assurances.
“It is premature to address the supply specifics of our vaccine candidate,” a spokesperson for the corporate mentioned in an e-mail to CBC News.
“Janssen is continuing to work with Health Canada to complete the rolling submission process,” the spokesperson mentioned.
The Johnson & Johnson product, which requires just one shot as a substitute of two just like the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, could be a lot simpler for public well being officers to administer because it stays steady in a regular fridge for months.
Unlike these two shots, that are primarily based on mRNA technlogy, the Johnson & Johnson product makes use of a extra typical viral vector load vaccine know-how. Millions of individuals may develop some form of antibody safety in opposition to COVID-19 with only a single dose.
In U.S. scientific trials, the product was discovered to be 72 per cent efficient in stopping moderate-to-severe circumstances of COVID-19.
Importantly, the product additionally demonstrated full safety in opposition to COVID-19-related hospitalization and loss of life, 28 days post-vaccination.
The firm has mentioned the single-shot vaccine has “the potential to significantly reduce the burden of severe disease.”