January 8, 2021
Health Canada Authorizes Second COVID-19 Vaccine from Moderna Therapeutics
On December 23, 2020, Health Canada approved a second COVID-19 vaccine (mRNA-1273) manufactured by Moderna Therapeutics Inc. Similar to the Pfizer- BioNTech vaccine, this new vaccine uses mRNA, or genetic material from the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) that causes COVID-19, to trigger an immune response and provide immunity against the virus if a person becomes exposed. The initial indication of the Moderna vaccine is for use in people 18 years of age or older.
Health Canada approval was based on a phase 3 placebo-controlled, multicentre clinical trial which involved 30,351 participants who were randomized equally to receive two doses of the mRNA-1273 COVID-19 vaccine 28 days apart. The trial demonstrated the vaccine is 94% effective in preventing SARS-CoV-2 infection beginning 2 weeks after the second dose. The side effects observed in the clinical trials were mild to moderate and were similar to common side effects of other vaccines. No major safety concerns were identified in the data reviewed.
The MS Society of Canada is working with global MS organizations, researchers and healthcare providers to provide more specific advice for COVID-19 vaccinations for people living with MS and will continue to provide updated information. Individuals with MS are encouraged to speak with their neurologist and healthcare teams about the COVID-19 vaccines.
Moderna COVID-19 vaccine: What you should know