Canada announced Monday that it has signed agreements with US companies Novavax and Johnson & Johnson to secure tens of millions of doses of its COVID-19 vaccine projects in case their efficacy is proven.
The agreements in principle are in addition to two other similar ones that it had previously signed with US companies Pfizer and Moderna, which will allow Canada to obtain up to 190 million doses of experimental vaccines.
The 76 million doses of the biotechnology project NVX-CoV2373 Novavax, which has just started phase 2 trials, could be delivered in the second quarter of 2021 if the vaccine finally hits the market.
Johnson & Johnson has pledged to supply Canada with up to 38 million doses of its candidate vaccine Ad26.COV2.S, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said at a news conference.
The “most recent vaccine trials” from these two companies are “promising,” he said.
“All of our agreements with Pfizer, Moderna, Novavax and Johnson & Johnson with regard to a new vaccine they will allow Canada to have access to at least 88 million doses and options to have tens of millions more, ”said Trudeau.
About 38 million people live in Canada.
The trials of the experimental vaccines of the American Pfizer and Moderna are already in phase 3, the most advanced.
“We have wanted to sign agreements with different companies because we do not really know which will be the first to develop a vaccine or where it will come from,” said the prime minister after visiting the new biofabrication facilities of the Center for Research in Human Health Therapeutics, in Montreal.
The Donald Trump administration announced in early July that it had awarded $ 1.6 billion to Novavax for its vaccine project, guaranteeing the United States the priority of 100 million first doses in case of proven efficacy.
Maryland-based biotech Novavax has already signed partnership or dose supply agreements with the UK, Japan and India.
“We are moving forward with the clinical development of NVX-CoV2373 with a strong sense of urgency in our efforts to produce a vaccine that protects the world,” said Novavax President Stanley Erck.
In addition to Pfizer and Moderna, other laboratories are already conducting phase 3 trials, such as Britain’s AstraZeneca and several Chinese companies.
Canada accumulated nearly 128,000 coronavirus cases and about 9,150 deaths on Monday.