Canada could approve a jointly-developed COVID-19 Vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech “around December”.
A senior official at Canada’s drug regulator on Thursday said that Canada could approve a jointly-developed COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech “around December,” about the same time as the European Union and the United States.
This, as Health Canada had previously said that an approval would likely come early in the first quarter under a new accelerated review process that was very similar to that in place in the US.
In a media briefing in Ottawa, Supriya Sharma – the senior medical adviser at Health Canada – said that Pfizer and BioNTech’s jointly-developed COVID-19 vaccine was most advanced in Health Canada’s reviews.
When asked whether any Canadians could receive a vaccine before the end of 2020, Sharma said that some things were happening at the same time — regulatory reviews, manufacturing, and distribution — which made it difficult to pinpoint dates.
“I think the general timelines of authorizations around December, and getting the shipments in January, and getting those moving in January are the best (forecasts) we can give at this time,” she said.
Sharma also said that Canada was looking at the same data as regulators in European Union and in the United States, and has a similar authorization system for use during a public health emergency.
In addition, Sharma said that the way that the reviews were progressing was that they’re expecting to make a final decision on the COVID-19 vaccine around the same time as both the Food and Drug Administration in the United States (US FDA) and the European Medicines Agency.
The European Medicines Agency was “very hopeful” it would be able to give a positive scientific opinion before Christmas, its executive director on Wednesday said.
Moreover, the Food and Drug Administration in the United States (US FDA) would hold a meeting on December 10 at which members will discuss Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine.