Canada announced its approval of the use of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine, making it the fourth vaccine that can be administered in the country.
“After a thorough, independent review of the evidence, the Department has determined that the vaccine meets Canada’s stringent safety, efficacy and quality requirements,” Health Canada said in a statement on Friday, Xinhua news agency reported.
The approval is expected to provide a significant boost to Canada’s vaccine rollout. Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine is widely seen as one of the easiest to administer because it requires only one dose and can be stored for long periods of time at regular refrigerator temperatures.
The US healthcare giant’s vaccine is the fourth to be approved in Canada. Earlier, Canada approved the use of Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca vaccines.
“Canada is the first country to approve four vaccines,” said Dr. Supriya Sharma, Health Canada’s chief medical advisor, at a press conference Friday morning.
It is approved in Canada for use in individuals aged 18 and older.
Canada has been assessing the Johnson & Johnson shot since November 30 last year.
It has ordered 10 million doses from Johnson & Johnson with options for up to 28 million more. Most of those shots are expected to arrive by the end of September this year.