Provinces revise vaccination timelines as Johnson & Johnson's COVID vaccine approved

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Provinces are revising their immunization timelines as Health Canada approved the Johnson & Johnson vaccine today.

Federal authorities say the four vaccines that have been approved in Canada may have different efficacy rates, but the evidence shows that all are safe and can prevent severe illness from COVID-19.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is the first one Canada has purchased that requires just a single dose. Canada has pre-purchased 10 million doses, and has options to buy another 28 million doses.

Meanwhile, the Manitoba government says it should be able to get a first dose of COVID-19 vaccines to all eligible people in the province sometime between mid-May and June — months ahead of the original prediction.

Officials say it is because the province has changed strategies and is delaying second doses in order to get more first doses done quickly.

Ontario is also expected to provide an update on its COVID-19 vaccination rollout today.

Ontario's health minister has said increased supply and more time between doses will speed up vaccinations to the general public.

Premier Doug Ford tweeted that the approval of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will give the province "another tool in our arsenal" on the path toward recovery.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 5, 2021.

Adina Bresge, The Canadian Press