COVID-19 Vaccines

COVID-19 Vaccines

Information on the COVID-19 vaccine is evolving. Ensure to follow local public health measures. In order to make data available for Canadians, people living in the United States, and the rest of the world, we included information from the Public Health Agency of Canada, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the World Health Organization.

Note: On November 2, 2021, the United States authorized the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech Comirnaty COVID-19 vaccine for children 5-11 years of age. This endorsement follows the authorization of Pfizer-BioNTech Comirnaty COVID-19 vaccine for children 12-15 years of age on May 12, 2021. The CDC recommends COVID-19 vaccination for individuals 5 years of age and older.

Note: On November 19, Health Canada authorized the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech Comirnaty COVID-19 vaccine in children aged 5-11. This follows Health Canada’s authorization of the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech Comirnaty COVID-19 vaccine in children aged 12 and older on May 5, 2021. The Pfizer-BioNTech Comirnaty COVID-19 vaccine is not recommended for individuals who are allergic to ingredients in the vaccine, have had severe allergic reactions to a previous dose of this vaccine, or have symptoms due to COVID-19.

References:

Government of Canada. Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine (tozinameran). https://covid-vaccine.canada.ca/pfizer-biontech-covid-19-vaccine/product-details 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. COVID-19 Vaccines for Children and Teens. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/recommendations/adolescents.html 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC Recommends Pediatric COVID-19 Vaccine for Children 5 to 11 Years. https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2021/s1102-PediatricCOVID-19Vaccine.html

Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC)
  • Vaccines that are authorized for use in Canada include:
    • Pfizer-BioNTech Comirnaty COVID-19 vaccine for individuals 5 years of age and older
    • Moderna Spikevax COVID-19 vaccine for individuals 12 years of age and older
    • AstraZeneca Vaxzevria COVID-19 vaccine for individuals 18 years of age and older
    • Janssen COVID-19 vaccine for individuals 18 years of age and older
  • It is important to note that some provinces may choose to adhere to the Pfizer vaccine only as there is more experience with this choice, as there were slightly more rates of myocarditis with Moderna vaccine.
  • Individuals who have received their first dose of the AstraZeneca Vaxzevria vaccine are able to receive either the AstraZeneca Vaxzevria vaccine or a mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) for their second dose
  • According to current clinical trials, no serious safety concerns related to the vaccines have been identified, however studies are ongoing
  • COVID-19 vaccines are currently prioritized to individuals according to the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) Guidance on the Prioritization of Initial Doses of COVID-19 Vaccine(s)
  • NACI currently recommends that COVID-19 vaccines should not be offered to individuals who are not in the authorized age group
  • NACI recommends to provincial governments that the following populations should receive a booster COVID-19 vaccination dose (with either mRNA vaccine) at least 6 months after completion of primary series:
    • 80 years of age or older
    • Adults living in long-term care homes or other congregate-living senior care facilities
  • NACI recommends that a booster dose (with a mRNA vaccine) may also be administered to individuals who are:
    • Aged 70-79
    • Adults who received two doses of the AstraZeneca Vaxzevria vaccine or one dose of the Janssen vaccine 
    • Adults from Indigenous communities
    • Front-line healthcare workers who experienced an exceptionally short interval between their primary vaccine doses (21 to 28 days)
  • NACI continues to recommend that individuals who are immunocompromised receive a primary series of 3 doses of an authorized mRNA vaccine, or receive an additional dose if they have completed a primary COVID-19 vaccine series
  • Regardless of vaccination with COVID-19 vaccine, all individuals should continue to practice recommended public health measures (e.g., good handwashing and physical distancing)

Read more here: 

Public Health Agency of Canada. COVID-19: Recommendations on the use of COVID-19 vaccines.https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/immunization/national-advisory-committee-on-immunization-naci/recommendations-use-covid-19-vaccines.html#a7

Government of Canada. Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine (tozinameran). https://covid-vaccine.canada.ca/pfizer-biontech-covid-19-vaccine/product-details 

Public Health Agency of Canada. Interchangeability of Authorized COVID-19 Vaccines. https://www.canada.ca/content/dam/phac-aspc/documents/services/immunization/national-advisory-committee-on-immunization-naci/summary-interchangeability-authorized-covid-19-vaccines-en.pdf 

National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI). Summary of National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) statement: Recommendation on the use of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines in adolescents 12 to 17 years of age. https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/immunization/national-advisory-committee-on-immunization-naci/recommendations-use-covid-19-vaccines/mrna-adolescents/summary.html 

National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI). Recommendation on the use of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines in adolescents 12 to 17 years of age. https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/immunization/national-advisory-committee-on-immunization-naci/recommendations-use-covid-19-vaccines/mrna-adolescents.html

Summary Of National Advisory Committee On Immunization (NACI) Statement Of October 29, 2021. https://www.canada.ca/content/dam/phac-aspc/documents/services/immunization/national-advisory-committee-on-immunization-naci/recommendations-use-covid-19-vaccines/statement-guidance-booster-doses/summary/summary.pdf

Government of Canada. Health Canada authorizes use of Comirnaty (the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine) in children 5 to 11 years of age. https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/news/2021/11/health-canada-authorizes-use-of-comirnaty-the-pfizer-biontech-covid-19-vaccine-in-children-5-to-11-years-of-age.html?utm_campaign=hc-sc-covidvaccine-21-22&utm_medium=smo&utm_source=twt&utm_content=vaccine-en-20211119-govcanhealth

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • Vaccines that have been authorized and recommended to prevent COVID-19 are:
    • ​​​​Pfizer-BioNTech Comirnaty COVID-19 vaccine for individuals 5 years of age and older
    • Moderna’s Spikevax COVID-19 vaccine for individuals 18 years of age and older
    • Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine for individuals 18 years of age and older
  • The CDC is currently conducting two studies on COVID-19 vaccines in children. The first study is researching children’s immune responses against COVID-19 vaccines, and it is studying the immune response in children previously infected with COVID-19 (1). The objective of the second study is to research children who are at high risk for severe COVID-19 outcomes (2).

Read more here:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Vaccination Implementation Strategies to Consider for Populations to Receive Initial Doses of COVID-19 Vaccine. https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/implementation-strategies.html

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. US Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness Network Protocol for

Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses (including COVID-19). https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/downloads/us-flu-vaccine-effectiveness-network-protocol.pdf 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Virtual Network: Investigating the Risk of Influenza-Associated

Outcomes and Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness Using Integrated

Medical and Public Health Records (VISION) with COVID-19related addendum. https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/downloads/vision-cohort-protocol-508.pdf

World Health Organization (WHO)
  • The World Health Organization is currently working with global partners to accelerate vaccine approval and distribution processes while making sure that safety standards are met
  • Vaccinations should be prioritized for health workers at risk of high exposure, followed by older adults, then the rest of the population
  • Vaccines approved for emergency use by WHO include:
    • Pfizer-BioNTech Comirnaty COVID-19 vaccine 
    • AstraZeneca/Oxford Vaxzevria COVID-19 vaccine
    • Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine
    • The Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine for adults 18 years of age or older
    • The Sinovac-CoronaVac COVID-19 vaccine for adults 18 years of age or older
    • The COVAXIN COVID-19 vaccine by Bharat Biotech for adults 18 years of age or older
  • The Pfizer-BioNTech Comirnaty COVID-19 vaccine is safe for use in children aged 12 to 15 years old
  • The Moderna Spikevax COVID-19 vaccine is currently conducting a clinical trial for children aged 6 months to 12 years old
  • The Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine is currently conducting a trial for children aged 12 to 17 years old
  • It is recommended to continue practicing public health measures (e.g., physical distancing and wearing masks)

Read more here: 

World Health Organization. Who can take the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine? https://www.who.int/news-room/feature-stories/detail/who-can-take-the-pfizer-biontech-covid-19–vaccine

World Health Organization. Update on COVID-19 vaccination in pregnant women and children. https://www.who.int/news-room/events/detail/2021/05/05/default-calendar/update-on-covid-19-vaccination-in-pregnant-women-and-children

World Health Organization. WHO recommendation Bharat Biotech International Ltd – COVID-19 vaccine (Whole Virion Inactivated Corona Virus). https://extranet.who.int/pqweb/vaccines/who-recommendation-bharat-biotech-international-ltd-covid-19-vaccine-whole-virion

Booster COVID-19 Vaccine Doses

a person holding a syringe and a vial

COVID-19 vaccines have been shown to confer lasting protection against serious illness and mortality as a result of COVID-19 infection. While there is no evidence among the general population suggesting waning protection against serious illness, emerging evidence suggests a decrease in protection against asymptomatic and mild COVID-19 disease over time. Additionally, older adults (specifically seniors 80 years of age and older) as well as those living in long-term care facilities may experience lower vaccine efficacy against serious COVID-19 as time since vaccination increases. Booster doses of a COVID-19 vaccine after a primary series are designed to maintain immunity and confer a longer period of protection against COVID-19 infection. As booster rollout strategies may differ between provinces, please see provincial guidelines for recommendations about who should receive booster COVID-19 vaccine doses at this time.

Note: On November 12, 2021, Health Canada authorized the use of the Moderna Spikevax COVID-19 vaccine as a booster dose in adults aged 18 years and older, given at least 6 months after receiving a primary vaccine series.

Note: On November 9, 2021, Health Canada authorized the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine as a booster dose in adults aged 18 years and older, given at least 6 months after receiving a primary vaccine series.

National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) Recommendations
  • The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) provides recommendations to the federal government. NACI published the following recommendations regarding booster COVID-19 vaccination doses on October 29, 2021:
    • The following populations should receive a booster COVID-19 vaccination dose (with either authorized mRNA vaccine) at least 6 months after completion of primary series:
      • 80 years of age or older
      • Adults living in long-term care homes or other congregate-living senior care facilities
    • A booster dose (with a mRNA vaccine) may also be administered to individuals who are:
      • Aged 70-79
      • Adults who received two doses of the AstraZeneca Vaxzevria vaccine or one dose of the Janssen vaccine 
      • Adults living in or from First Nations, Métis, and Inuit communities
      • Front-line healthcare workers who experienced an exceptionally short interval between their primary vaccine doses (21 to 28 days)
    • Individuals who are immunocompromised should receive a primary series of 3 doses of an authorized mRNA vaccine, or receive an additional dose if they have completed a primary COVID-19 vaccine series
    • Either authorized mRNA vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech Comirnaty or Moderna Spikevax) may be used for the booster dose, regardless of the vaccine used in the primary series

Read more here:

Summary Of National Advisory Committee On Immunization (NACI) Statement Of October 29, 2021. https://www.canada.ca/content/dam/phac-aspc/documents/services/immunization/national-advisory-committee-on-immunization-naci/recommendations-use-covid-19-vaccines/statement-guidance-booster-doses/summary/summary.pdf

Booster Vaccines Approved in Canada

The following COVID-19 vaccines have been approved by Health Canada for use as booster doses:

  • Pfizer-BioNTech Comirnaty COVID-19 vaccine
    • Authorized for adults aged 18 years & older
    • Given at least 6 months after receiving a primary vaccine series
    • The booster dose is a full dose of the vaccine used in a primary series (30 mcg)
  •  Moderna Spikevax COVID-19 vaccine
    • Authorized for adults aged 18 years & older
    • Given at least 6 months after receiving a primary vaccine series
    • The booster dose is a half dose of the vaccine used in a primary series (50 mcg)

Please see local guidelines for recommendations about who should receive booster COVID-19 vaccine doses at this time.

References:

Summary Of National Advisory Committee On Immunization (NACI) Statement Of October 29, 2021. https://www.canada.ca/content/dam/phac-aspc/documents/services/immunization/national-advisory-committee-on-immunization-naci/recommendations-use-covid-19-vaccines/statement-guidance-booster-doses/summary/summary.pdf

Government of Canada. Health Canada authorizes the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech Comirnaty COVID-19 vaccine as a booster shot. https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/news/2021/11/health-canada-authorizes-the-use-of-the-pfizer-biontech-comirnaty-covid-19-vaccine-as-a-booster-shot.html

Government of Canada. Health Canada authorizes the use of the Moderna Spikevax COVID-19 vaccine as a booster shot. https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/news/2021/11/health-canada-authorizes-the-use-of-the-moderna-spikevax-covid-19-vaccine-as-a-booster-shot.html

For more information on COVID-19 Vaccination in Canada, click here.

Here is a preview of our most recent updates on the vaccine development:

References

  1. Public Health Agency of Canada. COVID-19: Recommendations on the use of COVID-19 vaccines. https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/immunization/national-advisory-committee-on-immunization-naci/recommendations-use-covid-19-vaccines.html#a7
  2. Government of Canada. Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine (tozinameran). https://covid-vaccine.canada.ca/pfizer-biontech-covid-19-vaccine/product-details 
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Vaccination Implementation Strategies to Consider for Populations to Receive Initial Doses of COVID-19 Vaccine. https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/implementation-strategies.html
  4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. US Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness Network Protocol forInfluenza and Other Respiratory Viruses (including COVID-19). https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/downloads/us-flu-vaccine-effectiveness-network-protocol.pdf
  5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Virtual Network: Investigating the Risk of Influenza-Associated. Outcomes and Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness Using Integrated Medical and Public Health Records (VISION) with COVID-19related addendum. https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/downloads/vision-cohort-protocol-508.pdf
  6. World Health Organization. Who can take the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine? https://www.who.int/news-room/feature-stories/detail/who-can-take-the-pfizer-biontech-covid-19–vaccine

Disclaimer: The information regarding COVID-19 is changing constantly as more data become available. The information provided in this website is not meant to replace diabetes healthcare team or public health agencies recommendations, and is intended for information purposes only. Please check with your healthcare providers for any deviations from your care plans.


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