#Ottawa; #Pfizer; #Moderna; #potentialCOVID19Vaccines
Ottawa, Aug 5 (Canadian-Media): An announcement was made by Canada's Public Services and Procurement Minister Anita Anand during a news conference in Toronto on Aug 5 that the Government of Canada has entered into agreements with Pfizer and Moderna to secure millions of doses of potential COVID-19 vaccines.
Anita Anand, Image credit: Twitter Handle
During the news conference along with Canada's Science and Industry Minister Navdeep Bains, Anand said today's announcement marks "an important step forward" and the agreements will ensure Canadians are "at the front of the line" when a vaccine is approved.
While Pfizer is a biopharmaceutical company involved in the discovery, development and manufacture of health care products, including medicines and vaccines, Moderna is a biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of medicines and vaccines made of messenger RNA, said a news release.
Anand said in the news release that Pfizer will supply Canada with its BNT162 mRNA-based vaccine candidate, while Moderna will provide its mRNA-1273 vaccine candidate to Health Canada.
Health Canada would be subject to regulatory approval prior to administering the vaccines to Canadians.
“Canada has flattened the curve, but COVID-19 remains dangerous without a vaccine. Over the last months, our government has been investing to fight this virus. We have been committing important funding toward research and preparedness to develop a vaccine and treatments. Today’s announcements will build on the work already started to support COVID-19 research in Canada and will give us more chances of having a vaccine and treatments,” said Canada's Health Minister, Patty Hajdu in the news release.
Patty Hajdu. Image credit: Twitter handle
Necessary equipment and supplies to manufacture to produce the vaccine in Canada and other supplies to ensure safe immunization such as syringes, alcohol swabs and gauze are also being procured by the Public Services and Procurement Canada.
Normally it takes years or decades for the development of a vaccine, but scientific communities around the world are aiming to speed up the development of a vaccine for the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 in 12 to 18 months.
Several measures being taken by the Government of Canada to secure a future supply of COVID-19 vaccine and therapies were announced by Bains and Anand in a news release.
Bains unveiled in the news release the members of the COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force including vaccine and immunology experts, as well as industry leaders co-chaired by Joanne Langley, Head of Infectious Diseases at the IWK Health Centre in Halifax and Professor in the Department of Community Health and Epidemiology at Dalhousie University, and J. Mark Lievonen, former President of Sanofi Pasteur Limited in Canada.
The Task Force provides scientific and technical advice to the government on a portfolio of leading international vaccine candidates.
Anand said in the news release that the negotiation by the government is underway with a number of leading pharmaceutical companies to establish a regular supply base of potential vaccine candidates.
Following the recommendation of the COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force, Bains announced an investment of up to $56 million in the news release to support clinical trials for a COVID-related vaccine candidate from Variation Biotechnologies Inc. (VBI) through the Strategic Innovation Fund to facilitate Canada’s ability to secure an effective vaccine.
The news release added that this investment is funded from the Government’s $600 million to support COVID-19–related vaccine and therapy clinical trials.