Government of Canada signs new agreements to secure additional vaccine candidate and treatment for COVID-19

GATINEAU, QC, Sept. 22, 2020 /CNW/ - The Government of Canada is protecting the health and safety of all Canadians, while ensuring a safe and sustainable economic recovery. This includes taking steps to ensure that Canadians can access future vaccines and treatments, and that the healthcare system has the tools required for effective deployment.

The Honourable Anita Anand, Minister of Public Services and Procurement, today announced that the Government of Canada has signed agreements with Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) to secure up to 72 million doses of their COVID-19 adjuvanted recombinant protein-based vaccine candidate.

Based on recommendations from the COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force, the Government of Canada is signing agreements with a number of leading pharmaceutical companies to establish a guaranteed supply base of potential vaccine candidates. Agreements have previously been signed with Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and Novavax, and negotiations continue for access to other leading vaccine candidates.

Currently, no vaccines have been approved to prevent COVID-19 in Canada. Many vaccines are in clinical trials or under development domestically or internationally. Once vaccines are ready, companies will need to make submissions for authorization to Health Canada. 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 made available to Canadians.

At the same time, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization, an external advisory group of vaccine and public health experts, will provide federal, provincial and territorial governments with guidance for safe and effective vaccine use for Canadians.

While significant work is underway to develop vaccines to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Government of Canada is also focused on therapeutics to treat Canadians who have contracted the virus.

Minister Anand announced that the Government of Canada has signed an agreement with Gilead Sciences and McKesson Canada to secure a supply of up to 150,000 vials of remdesivir, with deliveries beginning this month and continuing into early 2021. Currently, remdesivir is the only known anti-viral drug that has been shown to be effective in treating COVID-19 patients. 

The Government of Canada has also signed two contracts with SiO2 International Inc. to purchase syringes and vials for use in filling up to 80 million doses of vaccine, with deliveries beginning this month.

Quotes

"On behalf of the Public Health Agency of Canada, and based on recommendations from the COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force, we are looking to the future and readying Canada for a vaccine to enable us to emerge from this pandemic. These agreements signed to date include the three main types of vaccine candidates – known as mRNA, Protein Subunit and Viral Vector. Having a diverse portfolio of vaccines from multiple supply sources will provide assured access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines when they become available. We have also signed a number of contracts for the supplies necessary to eventually distribute vaccines, including syringes, vials, and alcohol swabs. When a vaccine is ready, Canada will be ready."

The Honourable Anita Anand
Minister of Public Services and Procurement

"The announcement of additional vaccine candidate agreements will help us to provide a vaccine to as many Canadians as possible when one is approved by Health Canada and proven to be safe and effective. In the meantime, we will be working with provinces and territories to distribute the 150,000 vials of remdesivir to healthcare providers to treat their COVID-19 patients who need it most."

The Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Health

Quick facts

  • Public Services and Procurement Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada, Health Canada and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada are working together, along with the COVID-19 Vaccine and Therapeutics Task Forces, towards procurement and deployment of COVID-19 vaccines and related supplies.
  • The Government of Canada has now signed agreements with the following companies to obtain vaccines:
    • Sanofi and GSK, which will supply up to 72 million of doses of their COVID-19 adjuvanted recombinant protein-based vaccine candidate.
    • Johnson & Johnson, which will supply up to 38 million doses of its vaccine candidate, Ad26.COV2.S.
    • Novavax, which will supply up to 76 million doses of its vaccine candidate, NVX-CoV2373.
    • Pfizer, which will supply a minimum of 20 million doses of its mRNA-based vaccine candidate, BNT162. The government is negotiating with the company to have the agreement include options for obtaining additional doses.
    • Moderna, which will supply up to 56 million doses of its vaccine candidate, mRNA-1273.
  • The Government of Canada will continue to negotiate and sign other agreements with leading pharmaceutical companies to ensure the supply of potential vaccines in Canada.
  • To date, the Government of Canada has allocated $1 billion for the five agreements that are in place. This includes some upfront payments that the pharmaceutical companies require to support vaccine development, testing and at-risk manufacturing.
  • This investment guarantees Canada's earliest possible place in production runs.
  • Subsequent payments are contingent on the vaccines passing clinical trials and obtaining regulatory approval. All contracts Canada signs with vaccine developers contain off-ramps and exit provisions should they be required.

Associated links

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Canada's response 
Supplying Canada's response to COVID-19 
Government of Canada announces major steps in treating and preventing COVID-19 through vaccines and therapies 
New measures to ensure the supply of future vaccines and therapies against COVID-19

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SOURCE Public Services and Procurement Canada

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