By Robb M. Stewart

 

Canada's health regulator cleared the latest Covid-19 shot from Pfizer and partner BioNTech, giving its approval to a second vaccine targeting the latest versions of the virus now circulating.

Health Canada said Thursday it authorized the use of the drug companies' Comirnaty Covid-19 vaccine targeting the Omicron XBB.1.5 subvariant for individuals 6 months of age and older. The agency received Pfizer and BioNTech's submission for the updated vaccine on June 29, and after an independent review of the evidence determined it met safety, efficacy and quality requirements.

Earlier this month, Health Canada authorized Moderna's Covid-19 vaccine targeting the Omicron XBB.1.5 subvariant, and it is currently reviewing a submission from Novavax for its shot targeting the Omicron XBB.1.5 subvariant for people 12 years of age and older.

Health Canada said the country will have ample supply of the new formulation of mRNA vaccines available in the fall. The country's National Advisory Committee on Immunization is evaluating Covid-19 vaccine options and schedules, and is expected to provide guidance in the coming months.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration earlier in the month cleared the updated Covid-19 shots from Moderna and Pfizer and BioNTech for adults and children 6 months and older.

Pfizer and BioNTech said their new vaccine is administered as a single dose for people 5 and older, regardless of their vaccination history, while children 6 months through 4 years old will receive the vaccine as a three-dose series for those who haven't completed a primary CXovid-19 vaccination course or as a single dose for those who have.

The companies expect the updated vaccine to be available in Canada in the coming weeks.

They said they continue to monitor emerging SARS-CoV-2 strains and are conducting studies to monitor the vaccine's effectiveness, including against the recently emerged Omicron BA.2.86 "Pirola" variant and the globally dominant EG.5.1 "Eris" subvariant.

 

Write to Robb M. Stewart at robb.stewart@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 28, 2023 13:11 ET (17:11 GMT)

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