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

From: Public Services and Procurement Canada

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.

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.

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