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First P.E.I. shipment of Moderna expected by year-end – SaltWire Network

First P.E.I. shipment of Moderna expected by year-end – SaltWire Network

Public health authorities in Prince Edward Island are expecting a first shipment of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine before the end of the year.

The vaccine received approval from Health Canada for individuals aged 18 and older on Wednesday, Dec. 23. Like the recently-approved Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, currently in the midst of distribution to health workers on P.E.I., the Moderna vaccine will require two doses. Health Canada says the vaccine has been shown to be 94 per cent effective in clinical trials; no important safety issues or life-threatening side effects have been observed in the clinical trials, which involved over 30,000 participants.

Dr. Heather Morrison cheers during a press conference following the first COVID-19 vaccinations in Prince Edward Island on Dec. 16.
Dr. Heather Morrison cheers during a press conference following the first COVID-19 vaccinations in Prince Edward Island on Dec. 16.

 

An emailed statement from the Chief Public Health Office said public health officials have not yet confirmed the number of doses of the vaccine that will arrive on P.E.I. by year-end. The first doses of the Moderna vaccine will be prioritized for residents of long-term care homes.

“We anticipate receiving enough of the vaccine to immunize a few hundred long-term care residents (first vaccine as well as the second one 28 days later),” the statement said.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said Canada will receive up to 168,000 doses of the vaccine this month. The federal government has a contract with Moderna to provide a total of 40 million doses of the vaccine by the end of 2021.

The Moderna vaccine will require storage at -20 C. The vaccine will be easier for local public health authorities to administer in rural settings of the province than the Pfizer vaccine, which requires storage at -70 C. The Pfizer vaccine has so far been administered to health-care workers and long-term care home staff out of one central location at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Charlottetown.

On Tuesday, Chief Public Health Officer Heather Morrison said 1,500 health-care workers have received their first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. A second dose will be administered to these individuals in the coming weeks.

From now until late March, the roll-out of both the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines will be limited to frontline health-care workers, residents and staff of long-term care homes, individuals aged 70 or older and adults living in Indigenous communities.

Published at Sat, 26 Dec 2020 10:21:36 +0000

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Written by Riel Roussopoulos

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