Trudeau government secures close to 200 million COVID-19 vaccine doses
While many countries are struggling to contain the coronavirus and have not yet secured agreements with major drug companies to be recipient of the first available COVID-19 vaccines, Canada remains miles ahead of rest. Not only have the Canadians put in place a national strategy to flatten the curb, but they have now successfully secured close to 200 Million doses of vaccines from the four leading vaccine makers.
Canada’s ability to defeat COVID-19 depends on the development, production, and distribution of an effective and proven vaccine. While several countries downplay the pandemic, Canada continues to work closely with researchers and scientists to better understand the virus and protect the health of Canadians.
Yesterday, Prime Minister Trudeau announced agreements in principle with Johnson & Johnson and Novavax to procure millions of doses of experimental COVID‑19 vaccines. These agreements add to those already reached with Pfizer and Moderna, which were made following the recommendations of the COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force.
“As we continue to work together to limit the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the health of Canadians, as well as its social and economic effects, we must also maximize our chances of defeating the virus. To do this, we need to invest in the development of several promising vaccines and ensure that we can manufacture and distribute the vaccine to as many Canadians as possible, as quickly as possible. That is how we will move forward on a sustainable path to a full recovery.” The Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada
With these additional agreements in place, Canada has now secured access to four of the leading vaccine candidates. The government will continue to negotiate and sign other agreements with a number of leading pharmaceutical companies, to ensure the supply of potential vaccines in Canada.
As part of a concerted effort find a COVID-19 vaccine, Canada has announced funding to establish a new biomanufacturing facility at the Human Health Therapeutics Research Centre in Montréal. Through a public-private partnership, the new building will enable the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) to increase vaccine manufacturing to up to two million doses per month by next year.
This will help ensure Canada’s ability to produce enough doses of the vaccine for Canadians who need them, such as front line workers, long-term care workers, and those at risk of becoming seriously ill if they contract COVID-19.
Currently, no vaccines have been approved to prevent COVID-19. Many vaccines are in clinical trials or under development. When additional studies have been completed, Health Canada will review the evidence of safety, efficacy, and manufacturing quality for each vaccine to determine whether individual vaccines will be approved for use in Canada, before they are used to vaccinate Canadians.