COVID-19 Vaccine News: Moderna vaccine approved, vaccine resources and information webinar (Dec. 23)

December 23, 2020

Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine approved by Health Canada

The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine was approved this morning by Health Canada with the first doses arriving in Canada in the coming days. Canada will receive up to 168,000 doses by the end of the month, and will receive 40 million doses total.

This approval was granted after a two month thorough and independent review of the evidence. Health Canada said that the vaccine meets the Department's "stringent safety, efficacy and quality requirements."

About the Moderna vaccine

The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine (mRNA-1273) is used to prevent COVID-19. The vaccine has been approved for individuals 18 years of age and older, as the safety and effectiveness in people younger than 18 years of age have not been established.

Moderna vaccine does not require storage at extremely cold temperatures and is easier to transport. According to the product monograph, the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine multiple-dose vials are stored frozen between -25°C to -15°C. Vials can be stored refrigerated between 2°C and 8°C up to 30 days prior to first use. Unpunctured vials may be stored between 8°C to 25°C for up to 12 hours.

The vaccine is given by the intramuscular injection (0.5 mL) with the preferred site being the deltoid muscle of the upper arm. For the vaccine to work best, individuals will need to receive two doses - a single dose and then a second dose one month apart.

Patients may develop allergic reactions to the vaccine. Below are the ingredients for the vaccine:

Medicinal ingredients:

  • mRNA-1273 SARS-CoV-2

Non-medicinal ingredients:

  • 1,2-distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DSPC),
  • acetic acid,
  • cholesterol,
  • PEG2000 DMG (1,2-dimyristoyl-rac-glycerol,methoxy-polyethyleneglycol),
  • lipid SM-102,
  • sodium acetate,
  • sucrose,
  • tromethamine
  • tromethamine hydrochloride,
  • water for injection.

Moderna vaccine resources

More detailed information on the vaccine is available here, where you will find information such as the product monograph and Health Canada's regulatory decision summary.

As of December 23, the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) had not yet updated its Immunization Manual with information on the newly approved Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. When information, such as product FAQ and eligibility, is released, it will be available to the public here. We anticipate that the information will be released in the coming days.

Please see below for resources provided by Health Canada:

Webinar: Helpful Information for Healthcare Providers about the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine

Moderna will be hosting an educational webinar to learn about Moderna's investigational COVID-19 vaccine. The webinar takes place on December 29, 2020 at 9:00 am.

Date: Dec. 29, 2020
Time: 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time
Registration: Click here

The webinar is hosted by Moderna and is open to all healthcare professionals.

Contact for the Moderna vaccine

Medical Questions

Call Moderna Medical Information at 1-800-MODERNA (1-866-663-3762).

Reporting a Side Effect

For healthcare professionals: If a patient experiences a side effect following immunization, please complete the Adverse Events Following Immunization (AEFI) Form appropriate for your province/territory and send it to your local Health Unit.