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One Vaccine, Two Vaccine: Recent Breakthroughs for COVID-19 Immunization

We are currently in the midst of the second wave of COVID-19, with provinces across Canada reporting record-high numbers of new daily cases. Fortunately, it appears COVID-19 vaccines may begin rolling out in Canada by early next year.

Pfizer recently released data from their continuing Phase III trial, involving 41000 participants worldwide. The data demonstrated vaccine effectiveness of 95%, with protection appearing to be consistent across people of all ages and ethnicities. Similarly, Moderna also released data from their ongoing trial of 30000 participants, demonstrating vaccine effectiveness of 94.5%.

Both companies are currently on track to seek emergency use approval by the FDA within the next few weeks. If approved by Health Canada, Canada currently has rights to 20 million doses of Pfizer’s vaccine and up to 56 million doses of Moderna’s vaccine. Since both vaccines are administer as a 2-dose series, this could provide Canada with enough doses to vaccinate up to 38 million people – roughly the same as the country’s population. The news of two potential COVID-19 vaccine candidates is especially exciting as there has never been a successful vaccine for a coronavirus or widespread use of an mRNA vaccine. We look forward to seeing additional data from Pfizer and Moderna…as well as any other candidates that might emerge!

- Rhiannon


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