Health Canada approves updated Moderna vaccine for COVID-19

Health Canada’s regulatory branch approved Moderna’s new Spikevax vaccine, which is formulated for the XBB.1.5 lineage of the Omicron variant. Almost all the cases of COVID-19 in Canada currently are versions of the XBB lineage.

Canada’s senior public health officials are urging Canadians to get an updated COVID-19 vaccine this fall after the first shot targeting the latest variants was authorized on Tuesday, September 12th.

Moderna said in a recent statement the first doses would be shipped to arrive in Canada on Sept. 13, with more coming over the next month.

As of Sept. 3, XBB strains accounted for 98 percent of all cases in Canada, with XBB.1.5 specifically accounting for about nine percent, while the XBB sub-lineage EG.5 is about 35 percent of cases.

Health Canada is also reviewing submissions for XBB.1.5 vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Novavax. Sharma said decisions on both will be forthcoming.

Moderna said vaccine doses should be in the hands of provinces and territories in Canada in time for their fall vaccination campaigns.

So, watch for further information, likely in the next few weeks.