Canada secures deals for millions of COVID-19 vaccine doses | Inquirer News
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Canada secures deals for millions of COVID-19 vaccine doses

/ 09:52 PM September 01, 2020

Canada announced deals on Monday with US companies Novavax and Johnson & Johnson for millions doses of their experimental COVID-19 vaccines.

The agreements bring the maximum vaccine doses that could be made available to Canadians to 190 million, after similar arrangements were made with Pfizer and Moderna.

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The population of Canada is just under 38 million.

“We’ve looked to sign agreements with many different companies because we really don’t know who will be first to develop a vaccine, and where it will come from,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told a news conference in Montreal.

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“We need to be able to immunize as many Canadians as possible.”

Novavax’s NVX-CoV2373 vaccine candidate, which is in Phase 2 clinical trials, could be delivered in the second quarter of 2021, Ottawa and the company said in a joint statement. The agreement is for up to 76 million doses.

Johnson & Johnson has agreed to supply up to 38 million doses of its vaccine candidate Ad26.COV2.S, said another statement.

Pfizer and Moderna previously agreed to deliver, respectively, a minimum of 20 million doses and up to 50 million doses of their vaccines, now in final Phase 3 trials and among the most advanced in development.

The Novavax deal comes as the US government granted the Maryland-based firm US$1.6 billion to help fund development and manufacture of the vaccine, giving the US priority for the first 100 million doses.

Early tests showed its candidate was “generally well-tolerated” and elicited a “robust antibody response,” Novavax said.

“We are moving forward with clinical development of NVX-CoV2373 with a strong sense of urgency in our quest to deliver a vaccine to protect the world,” said company president Stanley Erck.

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As of Monday, Canada reported nearly 128,000 cases of Covid-19 and some 9,150 deaths.

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