Canada approves AstraZeneca's COVID-19 shot

"With Pfizer, Moderna, and now AstraZeneca, Canada will get more than 6.5 million doses before the end of March," Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters.

The vaccine is the third to be approved by Health Canada following the December approval of vaccines developed by Pfizer Inc with BioNTech SE and Moderna Inc.

Canada has ordered 20 million doses of the vaccine from AstraZeneca, and is due to receive 1.9 million through COVAX - the international initiative set up to provide equitable access to vaccines - in the first half of the year.

Video Transcript

- Canada received a total of 643,000 doses of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. This is our largest week of shipments to date. Vaccines will keep arriving faster and faster as we head into the spring and not just because shipments of Moderna and Pfizer are ramping up, which they are, but because Canada has now approved yet another vaccine option. This morning, Health Canada authorized the AstraZeneca Oxford COVID-19 vaccine as well as the Serum Institute of India's version, COVID Shield, which is sponsored in Canada by Mississauga's Verity Pharmaceuticals. In other words, we now have a third safe and effective vaccine independently approved by health experts in Canada.

This is very encouraging news. It means more people vaccinated and sooner because for AstraZeneca, like we were for Pfizer and Moderna, we're ready to get doses rolling. Canada has secured two million doses of the COVID Shield vaccine through an agreement with Verity Pharmaceuticals and the Serum Institute of India. With the vaccine now approved in Canada, our first shipment of half a million of these doses will arrive within weeks. The remaining doses are scheduled for delivery over the next couple of months.