Update on COVID-19 Vaccines | Drug News | Jan 2021
January 11, 2021 | Drug Information and News for Health Care Providers | View PDF
1. Two COVID-19 vaccines have been approved by Health Canada. Both are gene-based, mRNA (messenger RNA) vaccines that provide “genetic instructions” to host cells to make the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19 virus) protein and then develop an antibody response to it. The initial doses of vaccines are being distributed to high priority/risk groups first: residents and staff of shared living settings, individuals caring for older adults, adults 70+ years of age, healthcare workers in direct contact with patients, and adults in Indigenous communities.1 These two vaccine products are outlined in the table below.
- Government of Canada. NACI. Guidance on the prioritization of initial doses of COVID-19 vaccine(s). December 18, 2020. https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/immunization/national-advisory-committee-on-immunization-naci/guidance-prioritization-initial-doses-covid-19-vaccines.html. Accessed January 6, 2020.
- Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine Product Monograph. December 9, 2020.
- Pfizer Inc. Press Release. Pfizer and BioNTech conclude phase 3 study of COVID-19 vaccine candidate, meeting all primary efficacy endpoints. November 18, 2020. https://www.pfizer.com/news/press-release/press-release-detail/pfizer-and-biontech-conclude-phase-3-study-covid-19-vaccine. Accessed December 15, 2020.
- Moderna Inc. Press Release. Moderna announces primary efficacy analysis in phase 3 COVE study for its COVID-19 vaccine candidate and filing today with U.S. FDA for Emergency Use Authorization. November 30, 2020. https://investors.modernatx.com/news-releases/news-release-details/moderna-announces-primary-efficacy-analysis-phase-3-cove-study. Accessed December 15, 2020.
- Moderna Therapeutics Inc. Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine Product Monograph. December 23, 2020.
- Abbasi J. Medical news and perspectives: COVID-19 and mRNA vaccines – first large test for a new approach. JAMA 2020;324(12):1125-1127.