Canada

Health Canada authorizes Pfizer-BioNTech BA.4/BA.5 Omicron vaccine

OTTAWA –


Health Canada says Canadians ages 12 and up can now be given the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 booster vaccine that targets the BA.4 and BA.5 strains of the Omicron variant.


Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos and Health Canada officials are scheduled to discuss the approval in detail later today.


The authorization says the vaccine can be given three to six months after a second dose of the primary vaccine series, or the most recent booster shot.


It is the second combination vaccine greenlighted by Health Canada’s vaccine review team, but the first that targets the virus strains that are now most common in Canada.


The Moderna combination shot approved five weeks ago targets the original virus and the first Omicron variant, while the Pfizer shot authorized today targets the BA.4 and BA.5 strains.


Health Canada says 88 per cent of the COVID-19 cases identified in mid-September were BA.5 and nine per cent were BA.4.

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