Canada has now committed more than $1 billion in funding to buy doses of potential COVID-19 vaccines after signing an agreement with AstraZeneca and Oxford University on September 25 to secure another 20 million vaccine doses. The government also recently announced its agreement with Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline to buy 72 million doses of their vaccine candidate.
Canada already has reached vaccine agreements with Moderna, Pfizer, Novavax, Johnson & Johnson, for a total of 282 million doses. So far, none of the vaccine candidates have completed all required clinical trials or have been approved for use in Canada.
Moderna, AstraZeneca has a vaccine in Phase 3 trials. Pfizer’s vaccine candidate is currently in a combined Phase 2 and 3 trials. Novavax’s vaccine is in a Phase 2 trials, while Johnson & Johnson recently announced it is entering the final Phase 3 testing. Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline’s vaccine is in a combined Phase 1 and Phase 2 testing.
Canada has also signed an agreement with Gilead Sciences and McKesson Canada to obtain 150,000 vials of Remdesivir, the only antiviral drug that has been shown to be effective in treating patients with COVID-19. Health Canada approved the drug for use in COVID-19 patients in late July.
Prime Minister Trudeau also announced that Canada will provide $440 million to COVAX, a global procurement initiative meant to ensure fair, equitable and timely access to vaccines for less wealthy countries.
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