Characteristics of COVID-19 Vaccines Available in Canada

Pfizer-BioNTech Moderna

AstraZeneca 
        and
COVISHIELD¥

Janssen 
(Johnson & Johnson)

Vaccine Technology mRNA mRNA Viral vector 
ChAdOx1-S
(recombinant)
Viral vector
Ad26.COV2.S (recombinant)
Packaging

Multi-dose preservative-free vials containing 6 doses

Cartons of 25 and 195 vials

Multi-dose preservative-free vials containing 10 doses

Cartons of 10 vials

AstraZeneca
Multi-dose preservative-free availabe in:
8 dose vial (4 ml) 
10 dose vial (5 ml)

COVISHIELD:
Multi-dose preservative-free available in:
10 dose vial (5 ml)

Multi-dose preservative-free vial containing 5 doses

Cartons of 10 vials
Storage/Stability
Stability in Freezer

Store at -80°C to -60°C (ultrafreezer) until the expiry date printed on the label.

Store and/or transport at -25°C to -15°C for up to 2 weeks.^ 

Store at -25°C to -15°C (freezer) until the expiry date printed on the label. Do not freeze. Do not freeze.
Thawing

Thaw undiluted product in fridge (takes up to 3 hours).
or
Thaw undiluted product at room temperature (takes ~30 minutes).

Do not refreeze thawed vials.

Thaw in fridge (takes 2.5 hours), let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes before administration.
or
Thaw at room temperature (takes 1 hour).

Do not refreeze thawed vials.

Not required. 

Do not freeze.

Not required. 

Do not freeze.
Stability in Fridge (2°C to 8°C)

Undiluted product: up to 120 hours (5 days)

Thawed, undiluted product can be transported at 2°C to 8°C for up to 12 hours but this counts against the 120-hour limit.

Up to 30 days

Store at 2° to 8°C

Store in outer carton to protect from light.

Expiry date found on vial label and refers to last day of that month.

Store at 2°C to 8°C

Keep in original carton to protect from light.

Expiry date of vaccine should be checked and manually written on carton. See Product Monograph for additional details about expiry dates.
Dilution

Dilute thawed vials once they have reached room temperature with 1.8 mL of sterile 0.9% Sodium Chloride
Injection, USP

Dilution/
reconstitution not required

Dilution/reconstitution not required Dilution/
reconstitution not required
Stability at Room Temperature (up to 25°C) Prior to dilution, no more than 2 hours

After dilution, use within 6 hours from time of dilution
Up to 12 hours 

Store in a refrigerator (2°C to 8°C). 

No stability data of unopened vial at room temperature. See stability after 1st puncture.  

Stable for a total of 12 hours at 9°C to 25°C
Stability after 1st Puncture Up to 6 hours at 2°C to 25°C  Up to 6 hours  at 2°C to 25°C

Up to 6 hours at room temperature (up to 25°C)

Up to 48 hours when refrigerated (2°C to 8°C)

Product can be returned to the fridge but the cumulative time at room temperature must not exceed 6 hours and cumulative storage once opened must not exceed 48 hours.

Up to 3 hours at room temperature (up to 25°C)

Up to 6 hours at 2°C to 8°C

Stability in Predrawn Syringe
Note: predraw as few as possible
Up to 6 hours (if other stability parameters are met) Up to 6 hours (if other stability parameters are met) N/A N/A
Clinical Information
Age Approved for individuals 16 years and older
(limited data for those 12-15 years)
Approved for individuals 18 years and older Approved for individuals 18 years of age and over Approved for individuals 18 years of age and older
Dose 2x 0.3 ml doses
21-28 days* apart

Minimum interval = 19 days
2x 0.5 ml doses
28 days* apart

Minimum interval = 21 days

2 x 0.5 ml doses
4-12 weeks* apart

Minimum interval = 28 days

Single dose of 0.5 mL
Route of Administration Intramuscular (deltoid preferred) Intramuscular (deltoid preferred) Intramuscular (deltoid preferred) Intramuscular (deltoid preferred)

¥Health Canada has authorized 2 manufacturers of the ChAdOx1-S recombinant vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University: AstraZeneca COVID‐19 Vaccine (manufactured by AstraZeneca) and COVISHIELD (manufactured by Serum Institute of India). Health Canada has reviewed the manufacturing information for these vaccines and found them to be comparable. Separate product monographs are available for each product but parameters aside from packaging are the same. 

‡Packaging originally indicated 5 doses per vial though this has been updated to 6 doses per vial to minimize waste and increase access. Six doses can be achieved by using low dead-volume syringes and/or needles. If standard syringes and needles are used, there may not be sufficient volume to extract 6 full doses from a single vial

^ Vials stored/transported at -25°C to -15°C for up to 2 weeks may be returned (once) to the recommended storage condition of -80°C to -60°C. Total time the vials are stored and /or transported at -25°C to -15°C should be tracked and not exceed 2 weeks.

*Up to 4 months if needed in times of vaccine supply constraint.