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Canada's vaccine arsenal could get another addition within weeks: senior health official – CTV News

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OTTAWA —
On the heels of Health Canada’s authorization of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, the Johnson & Johnson shot could join the country’s arsenal within weeks, says Health Canada’s Chief Medical Adviser Dr. Supriya Sharma.

“Within March I think is a very reasonable expectation for that final decision, of course with all the caveats of making sure that the data is there and we don’t have any issues that come up,” she said about the ongoing Health Canada review of the vaccine candidate from pharmaceutical company Janssen.

Canada’s federal health agency has been assessing the Johnson & Johnson shot since Nov. 30, and like AstraZeneca, it’s logistically easier to administer as it can be shipped and stored in fridges rather than freezers. The potential additional advantage of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is that it is the first candidate to require a single dose.

In an interview on CTV’s Question Period airing on Sunday, Sharma said the review is “progressing really well,” and that Health Canada was expecting the “last bits of information” around manufacturing to arrive on Feb. 26. She said that from there, the team assessing the safety and efficacy of the vaccine would analyze the data as part of the “final stages” of the regulatory process.

The federal government has secured access to up to 38 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, though it’s possible the final number of shots Canada locks in will be fewer, given between the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and AstraZeneca vaccines Canada is set to receive more than 107.9 million doses, which is more than enough to immunize the entire eligible population.

It also remains unclear how quickly the Johnson & Johnson shots, if approved, could be making their way to Canada to be added to the ongoing vaccine rollout.

TIMELINE COULD ACCELERATE: ANAND

The federal government has committed to have everyone in Canada who wants to be vaccinated by the end of September, a commitment that was able to be made on the basis of having the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. Adding in other shots means that timeline could accelerate so long as the kind of delivery delays and shortages seen during the early months of the vaccine rollout don’t happen again.

In an interview on CTV’s Question Period, Procurement Minister Anita Anand said that with tens of millions more vaccines set to come to Canada in the weeks and months ahead, the country will be seeing a “very steep incline” when it comes to deliveries.

“We very much would like to move up the timeline for all Canadians to have access to a vaccine, and as soon as we have the delivery schedule ironed out with the 20 million AstraZeneca doses, we will be in a better place to move up that timeline,” she said.

Factoring in the potential addition of Johnson & Johnson doses, it’s possible millions more Canadians could be immunized earlier.

Anand said that while September is a “cautious timeline,” it remains the most accurate, and that she expects Canada will start moving up the list of countries when it comes to how many of its citizens have been vaccinated.

‘GET THE VACCINE OFFERED’: SHARMA

With more vaccines becoming available, there have been ongoing questions around whether Canadians will have the ability to choose which doses they sign up to receive, or if there will be an option depending on a person’s comfort level with the various degrees of efficacy demonstrated in clinical trials.

Sharma said that people should feel confident in all of the authorized vaccines and that all have shown to provide protection against COVID-19.

“Get the vaccine that is offered to you, it will provide some protection,” she said, noting that all three vaccines given the green light so far have been shown to prevent serious illness, hospitalization, and death.

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Voluntary recall issued for Frank’s RedHot Buffalo Ranch Seasoning – Global News

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A voluntary recall has been issued for Frank’s RedHot Buffalo Ranch Seasoning over a possible Salmonella contamination.

McCormick & Company, Inc. says the recall covers 153g bottles with a best before date of September 6, 2022.

Read more:
18 more hand sanitizers added to Health Canada’s growing recall list

The bottles were shipped to British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec.

No illnesses have been reported, and McCormick says the potential risk was brought to their attention by the FDA during routine testing.

Read more:
Health Canada recalls children’s jewellery over lead, cadmium levels

Salmonella poisoning can result in a wide range of symptoms, from short-term fever, headache and nausea to more serious issues including severe arthritis and, in rare cases, even death.

© 2021 The Canadian Press

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Pfizer sells $7.8 billion in Covid shots in the second quarter, raises 2021 guidance on vaccine sales – CNBC

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A person walks past the Pfizer building in New York City, March 2, 2021.
Carlo Allegri | Reuters

Pfizer said Wednesday it sold $7.8 billion in Covid-19 shots in the second quarter and raised its 2021 sales forecast for the vaccine to $33.5 billion from $26 billion, as the delta variant spreads and scientists debate whether people will need booster shots.

The company’s second-quarter financial results also beat Wall Street expectations on earnings and revenue. Here’s how Pfizer did compared with what Wall Street expected, according to average estimates compiled by Refinitiv:

  • Adjusted earnings per share: $1.07 per share vs. 97 cents per share expected
  • Revenue: $18.98 billion vs. $18.74 billion forecast

Pfizer expects an adjusted pretax profit in the high 20% range of revenue for the vaccine.

The company now expects full-year earnings in the range of $3.95 to $4.05 per share. That’s up from its prior range of $3.55 to $3.65 per share. It expects revenue in the range of $78 billion to $80 billion, up from its previous estimate of $70.5 billion to $72.5 billion.

Shares of Pfizer dipped 0.4% in premarket trading.

“The second quarter was remarkable in a number of ways,” Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said in a statement. “Most visibly, the speed and efficiency of our efforts with BioNTech to help vaccinate the world against COVID-19 have been unprecedented, with now more than a billion doses of BNT162b2 having been delivered globally.”

Pfizer’s other business units also saw strong sales growth. Revenue from its oncology unit rose by 19% year over year to $3.1 billion. The company’s hospital unit generated $2.2 billion in revenue, up 21% from the prior year. Its internal medicine unit grew by 5% from a year ago to $2.4 billion.

Pfizer said earlier this month it was seeing signs of waning immunity induced by its Covid vaccine with German drugmaker BioNTech, and planned to ask the Food and Drug Administration to authorize a booster dose. It also said it is developing a booster shot to target the delta variant.

In slides posted Wednesday alongside its earnings report, Pfizer said it could potentially file for an emergency use authorization for a booster dose with the FDA as early as August. It expects to begin clinical studies testing its delta variant vaccine in the same month.

It expects full approval for its two-dose vaccine by January 2022.

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Pearson airport won’t sort arriving passengers based on COVID-19 vaccination status – CityNews Toronto

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Canada’s largest airport is no longer splitting arriving international passengers into different customs lines based on their vaccination status.

Toronto’s Pearson International Airport announced last week it may be sorting travellers arriving from the U.S. or other international locations into vaccinated and partially or non-vaccinated queues.

But a spokesperson for the Greater Toronto Airports Authority says the practice has been discontinued as of Monday.

Beverly MacDonald says in a statement that the airport has determined separating vaccinated and partially or non-vaccinated travellers into different customs lines “results in minimal operational efficiencies.”

She says entry requirements related to vaccination status will now be enforced once a passenger reaches a customs officer.

Fully vaccinated Canadian citizens and permanent residents are now able to forgo a 14-day quarantine when arriving in Canada from abroad.

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