Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada has made a deal to obtain 20 million doses of another COVID-19 vaccine candidate. The vaccine is being developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University.
It’s one of many potential vaccines that the government has signed deals to procure in the event they are successful.
Agreements were reached before with major pharmaceutical companies including Sanofi, GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and Novavax.
“Canadians must have access to a safe and effective vaccine against COVID-19 as quickly as possible, no matter where it was developed,” PM Trudeau said on Friday during a press conference in Ottawa .
Trudeau also announced that Canada is joining an international coalition on vaccine distribution.
Canada will contribute $440 million toward the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access Facility, known as COVAX.
Canada is joining both parts of the initiative: one which secures access to millions of doses of vaccines for Canada, and the other which has wealthier nations pooling their funds to help lower and middle-income countries secure doses as well.
The deal will give Canada the option to buy up to 15 million doses, Trudeau said.
Joining the program will allow Canada to help ensure the successful vaccine is distributed “quickly and fairly” around the world, according to the prime minister.
“This pandemic cannot be solved by any one country alone because to eliminate the virus anywhere, we need to eliminate it everywhere,” he said.