Aug 31, 2023
By Jane Brown
Wondering when you will hear about the next COVID booster?
The decision makers at Health Canada are said to be considering three new vaccines specifically designed to target an Omicron subvariant of the virus.
A statement from the department responsible for national health policy says the new mRNA vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna have been part of a months long review process and supplies could start to roll out in the fall.
That timeline is similar to what is planned in the U.S. where an updated COVID booster is to be released in late September once regulators there sign off on the new shots.
A third, non-mRNA product from Maryland-based vaccine maker Novavax is also on Health Canada’s radar but the department has not yet received a formal submission from the company.
These new vaccines are designed for the XBB.1.5 Omicron subvariant now in widespread circulation.
Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla has said the company’s shots are ready to be deployed as soon as regulators authorize their use.
While the number of reported COVID-19 cases remains much lower than in the past, some agencies, including Public Health Ontario, have reported an uptick in positive results.