January 15th, 2021

No unexpected side-effects from COVID-19 shots given in Canada so far: Health Canada

By Mia Rabson, The Canadian Press on January 8, 2021.

Dr. Supriya Sharma, chief medical adviser at Health Canada, speaks during a press conference to announce that Health Canada has authorized the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, at the Sir John A. Macdonald Building in Ottawa on Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/David Kawai

OTTAWA – Health Canada has no reports of unexpected side-effects from patients vaccinated against COVID-19 thus far.

Health Canada’s chief medical adviser Dr. Supriya Sharma is releasing the first of the department’s regular reports on adverse events from the vaccinations.

Sharma says while the number of people vaccinated is still relatively small, data on side-effects, such as fevers, mirror closely what happened during the clinical trials.

Health Canada approved two vaccines for COVID-19 in December, including one from Pfizer and BioNTech and a second from Moderna.

An estimated 230,000 Canadians have now received a vaccine, mostly front-line hospital staff and long-term care workers and a smaller number of long-term care residents.

The agency continues to review data from two other vaccine developers, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson, but is still awaiting more data from the companies and Sharma says she can’t say when Health Canada would be ready to make a decision about either one.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 8, 2021.

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