Health Canada to approve Moderna’s COVID vaccine targeting Omicron variants on Thursday: sources

Health Canada is set to announce on Thursday the approval of Moderna’s updated COVID-19 vaccine that targets Omicron variants.

Senior government sources have confirmed the upcoming announcement to CTV News.

Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos is scheduled to hold a news conference that “will highlight the importance of COVID-19 vaccination as we head into the fall.”

Health Canada received Moderna’s application for its bivalent vaccine on June 30. A bivalent shot would provide protection against the original strain of COVID-19 and its Omicron variants. The federal regulator is also reviewing Pfizer-BioNTech’s application, which was submitted on July 25.

Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, has previously said that the country has secured a “sufficient” supply of bivalent vaccines if regulators greenlight a rollout.

Earlier this month, the United Kingdom became the first in the world to approve Moderna’s bivalent vaccine. On Wednesday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized its first COVID-19 bivalent vaccines.

Experts are anticipating another wave of the COVID-19 pandemic will hit this fall as temperatures drop and more people congregate indoors.

While the benefits of bivalent vaccines are still being studied, emerging research suggests that they could offer extended protection compared to the currently available COVID-19 shots.

– with files from The Canadian Press and The Associated Press