Health Canada on Thursday authorized an adapted version of the Moderna Spikevax COVID-19 vaccine that targets the Omicron BA.4/BA.5 subvariants.
Health Canada approved the bivalent vaccine for use as a booster dose in individuals 18 years of age or older, saying that clinical trial results showed it triggers a strong immune response against both Omicron (BA.4/BA.5) and the original SARS-CoV-2 virus strains.
This adapted vaccine has a similar safety profile to the previously approved Moderna Spikevax boosters, with the same mild adverse reactions that resolved quickly, Health Canada said.
Keeping COVID-19 vaccinations up-to-date, including getting booster doses as recommended, will help protect an individual against serious illness and other complications of COVID-19 infection, Health Canada said.
The number of total COVID-19 cases and deaths in Canada reached 4,336,860 and 46,389 respectively, according to the weekly update issued by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) last week.
According to the agency, the cumulative people who had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine in Canada was 83 percent as of Oct. 9. However, those who had in the last 6 months completed the primary series or received a booster dose with a COVID-19 vaccine in Canada was only 17.2 percent as of Oct. 9.