Health Canada has approved U.S. pharmaceutical company Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine for use across the country.
A study of 30,351 individuals showed the vaccine had an efficacy of 94.1 per cent. Health Canada says it was well tolerated by participants in the study and has no important safety concerns.
Adverse reactions to the vaccine were mild to moderate in severity, including pain at the injection site, fatigue, headache, muscle pain and chills, and resolved within 2 to 3 days.
The number of adverse reactions in the 28 days after vaccinations was comparable between those participants who received the vaccine (0.5 per cent) and those who received a placebo (0.6 per cent).
Plans are already underway by the federal government to acquire 40 million doses of Moderna’s vaccine, with 168,000 doses expected to arrive by the end of the month.
The government says they are prioritizing rural and remote communities with the initial order of Moderna vaccinations since it does not require the same difficult storage temperatures that the Pfizer vaccine does.
Health Canada noted that one limitation with the Moderna study is that because of the time frame they lack information on its long-term safety and efficacy.
Studies will continue to collect data on how it will perform in the long-term.