On Monday, Canada has signed an agreement in principle with both Novavax Inc and Johnson & Johnson for millions of doses of their experimental coronavirus vaccines, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said.
Canada`s two agreements follow separate deals with Pfizer Inc and Moderna Inc announced weeks ago, and are the latest example of countries rushing to secure access to vaccines.
Canada is also in the talks with AstraZeneca for its potential vaccine and is in talks to secure more doses of the Pfizer vaccine candidate, Procurement Minister Anita Anand said.
Anand said: “What we are trying to do is make sure that when a vaccine is developed, we are at the front of the line.”
Canada has a population of about 38 million, and the four vaccine agreements signed so far give Canada at least 88 million doses with options to obtain tens of millions more, Trudeau said when he announced the deals in Montreal. All four agreements announced so far have options to purchase further doses if needed, officials said.
Trudeau also said the government will invest C$126 million (72.3 million pounds) over two years to build a bio-manufacturing facility at the Human Health Therapeutics Research Centre in Montreal capable of producing up to 2 million doses of a vaccine per month by next year.