Canada signs up with Pfizer, Moderna for 2 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine
Anand did not disclose the exact number of doses that have been ordered in advanced, other than to put that figure in millions.Updated: Aug 06, 2020 08:21 IST
After having been criticised for reacting slowly to the Covid-19 pandemic resulting in a shortage of personal protective equipment like masks at the outset of the crisis, the Canadian Government is taking steps to ensure an early supply of a vaccine, when available. The Government announced that it has entered into agreements with two companies “to secure millions of doses” of the vaccine.
Canada’s Minister of Public Services and Procurement Anita Anand said that after review by the Covid-19 Vaccine Task Force the government had signed agreements with the companies Pfizer and Moderna for the vaccine candidates.
Anand said that “if all goes well” Canada could get deliveries in 2021 while adding that the government are in talks with other vaccine candidates.
“The Government is negotiating and signing agreements with a number of leading pharmaceutical companies to establish a guaranteed supply base of potential vaccine candidates,” a statement said.
Anand, an Indo-Canadian Minister, pointed out that vaccination may not be made mandatory for Canadians, echoing the stand of the country’s public health authorities.
“We are now squarely focused on preparing Canada for an eventual vaccine. Given intense global competition, we are taking an aggressive approach to secure access to the most promising candidates so that we will be ready to vaccinate all Canadians as quickly as possible,” Anand said. She highlighted that the initial efforts earlier had been directed at procuring PPE and supplies
The formation of a Covid-19 Vaccine Task Force was announced at the same time, by Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry Navdeep Bains.
At a media interaction, Anand said, “Canadians are at the front of the line when a vaccine becomes available. Whenever the vaccine does become available, Health Canada will review its safety, efficacy and manufacturing quality before it is approved for use in the country.”
Bains noted in a statement that the government was “working hard on all possible fronts to deliver safe and effective treatments and vaccines against Covid-19 for Canadians as fast as possible.”
Anand did not disclose the exact number of doses that have been ordered in advanced other than to put that figure in millions. She also would not divulge the names of other pharmaceutical or biotech companies with which the Government is also negotiating for potential vaccine procurement.
Canada has so far logged 118,140 confirmed cases of coronavirus infections, and recorded 8962 deaths. The number of fatalities has declined significantly from the peak in April, with only four being reported on Wednesday.