Quick reference guide on use of COVID-19 vaccines for youth and adults (12 years and over): Vaccines available in Canada

Table 1 summarizes some of the key features of COVID-19 vaccines available in Canada for youth (12 to 18 years) and adults.

Table 1. Quick reference table on COVID-19 vaccines available in Canada for youth and adults
Product brand name Pfizer-BioNTech Comirnaty COVID-19 vaccine Moderna Spikevax COVID-19 vaccine AstraZeneca Vaxzevria COVID-19 vaccine Janssen COVID-19 vaccine
Type of vaccine

mRNA

mRNA

Viral vector

Viral vector
Date of authorization in Canada

December 9, 2020 (16 years and older)

May 5, 2021 (12 years and older)

November 9, 2021 (booster)

December 23, 2020 (18 years and older)

August 9, 2021 (12 years and older)

November 12, 2021 (booster)

February 26, 2021

March 5, 2021
Authorized ages for use

12 years and olderTable 1 Footnote g

18 years and older for boosterTable 1 Footnote g

12 years and olderTable 1 Footnote g

18 years and older for boosterTable 1 Footnote g

18 years and older

18 years and older
Authorized dose

0.3 mL (30 mcg of mRNA)Table 1 Footnote a

0.5 mL (100 mcg of mRNA) for primary series

0.25 ml (50 mcg of mRNA) for boosterTable 1 Footnote b

0.5 mL (5 x 1010 viral particles)

0.5 mL (5 x 1010 viral particles)
Authorized scheduleTable 1 Footnote b

2 doses, 3 weeks apart

booster at least 6 months after primary series completed

2 doses, 4 weeks apart

booster at least 6 months after primary series completed

2 doses, 4 to 12 weeks apart

1 dose
Route of administration

Intramuscular (IM)

Intramuscular (IM)

Intramuscular (IM)

Intramuscular (IM)
Nature of the antigen

Transmembrane prefusion spike protein

Transmembrane prefusion spike protein

Transmembrane spike protein

Transmembrane prefusion spike protein
Adjuvant (if present)

None

None

None

None
Primary storage requirements pre-punctureTable 1 Footnote c

-90°C to -60°C

-25°C to -15°CTable 1 Footnote d

+2°C to +8°C

+2°C to +8°C
Additional storage options pre-puncturec

1 month at +2°C to +8°C and 2 hours up to +25°C

-25°C to -15°C for up to 2 weeksTable 1 Footnote e

30 days at +2°C to +8°C

and/or

24 hours at +8° to +25°C (the 24 hours is combined with any post-puncture time at this temperature)

-

-
Diluent

Yes - 0.9% sodium chloride diluent provided by the manufacturer

1.8 ml added to the vial

No

No

No
Usage limit post-puncture

6 hours at +2°C to +25°CTable 1 Footnote f

24 hours at +2°C to +25°C (any post-puncture time at +8° to +25°C is combined with any pre-puncture time at this temperature to not exceed 24 hours)

6 hours at room temperature (+8 to +30°C) or

48 hours at +2°C to +8°C

3 hours at room temperature (up to +25°C) or
6 hours at +2°C to +8°C
Formats available

Multi-dose vial

(6 doses)Table 1 Footnote a, preservative-free

Multi-dose vial - may vary depending on use for primary series or booster doses (maximum 20 doses),

preservative-free

Multi-dose vial (8- and 10-dose presentations), preservative-free

Multi-dose vial (5 doses), preservative-free

Abbreviations: mRNA: Messenger ribonucleic acid

Table 1 Footnote a

Refer to the Pfizer-BioNTech Comirnaty COVID-19 Vaccine product monograph for appropriate diluent, dilution instructions and type of needles/syringes that can be used to extract 6 doses from a single vial.

Table 1 Return to footnote a referrer

Table 1 Footnote b

Authorized schedule per the product monograph. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) recommendations may differ for interval between the first and second dose, and for the Moderna dosage for the booster dose. See appropriate sections under "Recommendations for Use".

Table 1 Return to footnote b referrer

Table 1 Footnote c

Protected from light during storage

Table 1 Return to footnote c referrer

Table 1 Footnote d

Do not store on dry ice or below -40°C

Table 1 Return to footnote d referrer

Table 1 Footnote e

Vials stored at -25°C to -15°C for up to 2 weeks may be returned one time to the recommended storage condition of -80°C to -60°C. Total cumulative time the vials are stored at -25°C to -15°C should be tracked and should not exceed 2 weeks

Return to footnote e referrer

Footnote f

After dilution, vaccine must be used within 6 hours

Table 1 Return to footnote f referrer

Table 1 Footnote g

NACI has indicated that, to minimize the risk of myocarditis/pericarditis, the Pfizer-BioNTech Comirnaty product is the preferred vaccine for the primary series in those 12 to 29 years of age. It may also be the preferred product for the booster dose in those 18 to 29 years of age. NACI notes that moderately and severely immunocompromised individuals may benefit from the slightly higher antibody levels generated and slightly higher vaccine effectiveness provided by the Moderna 100 mcg vaccine compared to the Pfizer-BioNTech 30mcg vaccine. Moderna Spikevax may be considered for those who are moderately or severely immunocompromised based on clinical judgment.

Table 1 Return to footnote g referrer

Note: NACI preferentially recommends mRNA vaccines because of the following:

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