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Prime Minister discusses use of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

Canada's vaccine rollout

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UPDATE 9:42 a.m.

Canada's vaccine rollout received a significant boost Friday with the approval of a third COVID-19 inoculation, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced another partnership with an India-based institute that will deliver two million additional doses of the newly authorized jab to Canadians by the spring.

Trudeau spoke on Friday hours after Health Canada announced it had approved a COVID-19 vaccine from AstraZeneca.

The new partnership also means Canada will receive two million doses of the CoviShield vaccine, which is the same as AstraZeneca's product, through an agreement with Mississauga, Ont.'s Verity Pharmaceuticals and the Serum Institute of India.

Trudeau says the firstshipment of half a million of CoviShield doses will arrive by March.

Health Canada's chief medical adviser Dr. Supriya Sharma said in a briefing Friday that the CoviShield and AstraZeneca products are "for all intents and purposes" the same vaccine.

The difference is in where they are manufactured, she said, using the analogy of the same recipe made in two different kitchens.

The two million doses of CoviShield are in addition to the 20 million doses Canada already secured with AstraZeneca that will start arriving in the spring.

Trudeau said as vaccinations ramp up across the country, many provinces have expanded the number of health professions able to administer a COVID-19 vaccine, and he asked for dentists, midwives, pharmacy technicians and retired nurses to lend a hand in the rollout.


UPDATE 9:04 a.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaking with reporters from Parliament Hill Friday morning says Canada will get 6.5 million doses of various vaccines by the end of March. Trudeau also indicated that "tens of millions" more doses will be coming between April and June.


ORIGINAL 8:23 a.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau discusses the federal government’s response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. He is joined by federal ministers Patty Hajdu (health), Anita Anand (public services and procurement), and Dominic LeBlanc (intergovernmental affairs), as well as Major-General Dany Fortin (vice president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada), Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, and Dr. Howard Njoo, deputy chief public health officer. They discuss Health Canada’s authorization of the use of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.



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