“This is very encouraging news. It means more people vaccinated, and sooner. Because for AstraZeneca, just like we were for Pfizer and Moderna, we are ready to get doses rolling,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, as CBC recounted.
“Vaccines will keep arriving faster and faster as we head into the spring,” Trudeau said.
The Health Canada decision came after two studies — involving 11,636 participants in the U.K. and Brazil — showed an efficacy rate of 62.1% after two standard doses. The efficacy rate was 59.5% in an updated analysis in which the second dose was administered 4 to 12 weeks after the first dose.
On top of the AstraZeneca/Oxford University vaccine, Health Canada also authorized the Serum Institute of India’s version of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Canada has access to 22 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, with most expected to arrive in the second and third quarters of the year, according to CBC.