New single-dose COVID-19 vaccine approved by Canada

vacuna covid

More Canadians could receive their vaccine in the following months.

Official representatives announced this Friday the approval of a new COVID-19 vaccine. Janssen’s is the fourth authorized by Canada since the beginning of the pandemic and is the first one-shot vaccine of the immunization program. Its use has been approved for people aged 18 years and older.

The vaccine, created by Jannsen Inc., a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, is a non-replicating viral vector vaccine. It doesn’t need a second injection, making it possible to vaccinate more people in a shorter amount of time. Health Canada’s Dr. Marc Berthiaume said it would reduce pressure on vaccination clinics and demand fewer appointments and medical staff. 

The overall result will be a better immunization program enhancing protection among the population. 

The storage requirements are less rigorous than the ones needed for the previous vaccines. It can be stored at more convenient temperatures (from 2˚ to 8˚C) for at least three months in most standard refrigerators. This is a significant improvement in terms of distribution and suggests that  more Canadians could receive their vaccine in the following months.

Clinical trials estimate  the  efficacy of the vaccine at around 85 percent. According to a Janssen company report, effectiveness has fluctuated from 72 percent in the United States to 66 percent in Latin America and 57 percent in South Africa, where a new variant has spread.

That’s in contrast to the more robust protection witnessed in clinical trials for the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines. The research for these vaccines showed efficacy levels of 94 percent and 95 percent after two doses, respectively. These studies, however, took place before the rise of several concerning variants of this virus. Each company also tested for slightly different outcomes, meaning diverse parameters. 

Dr. Supriya Sharma, Health Canada’s Chief Medical Advisor, emphasized on the subject, “It doesn’t mean you will have a 34 percent chance of contracting COVID-19 following vaccination. If you receive any of the vaccines, the chance of getting the virus is greatly reduced. While each of the vaccines approved by Health Canada has different efficacy numbers, the overall result is that you would be protected.”

Amelia Flores


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