Remarks announcing new agreements to secure additional COVID-19 vaccine candidates
I’m happy to be here today with Minister Anand, Dr. Tam, and Dr. Njoo.
Right from the start of the pandemic, our government’s top priority has been to keep Canadians safe from COVID-19.
As we laid out in the Throne Speech on Wednesday, protecting people will continue to be job one as we move forward.
And one of the best ways to do that is with a safe and effective vaccine.
Our government has already invested in a strategy for increased screening, and support for vaccine research and clinical trials.
We’ve been guided by science since the very beginning.
And right now, both the COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force and the Immunity Task Force are doing important work to help us identify the most promising vaccine options and strategies.
Last month, I announced that the Government of Canada had signed agreements with Novavax, and Johnson & Johnson to secure millions of doses of the vaccines they are developing.
We have also secured agreements with Pfizer and Moderna.
And earlier this week, Minister Anand announced that the Government of Canada has now also signed agreements with Sanofi and with GlaxoSmithKline to secure up to 72 million doses of their COVID-19 vaccine candidate.
The solutions to eradicate this pandemic can be found in screening, scientific research, and vaccines.
We want Canadians to have access to effective and safe vaccines, which could from all over the world.
Today, we are taking another step in the right direction.
We have reached an agreement with AstraZeneca for the candidate vaccine it is developing with the University of Oxford.
If the vaccine is approved after clinical trials, Canada has secured 20 million doses for Canadians.
Today, I can announce that we’ve reached an agreement with AstraZeneca for the vaccine they are developing with the University of Oxford.
This agreement secures up to 20 million doses for Canadians, should the vaccine trials be successful.
I know Minister Anand will have more to say about this in a few minutes, but before she does, I also want to talk about another measure we’re taking on vaccines.
This pandemic can’t be solved by any one country alone.
Because to eliminate the virus anywhere, we need to eliminate it everywhere.
That’s why Canada is helping ensure vaccines are distributed quickly and fairly around the world by supporting GAVI’s COVAX Facility and Advance Market Commitment.
Our government will invest an additional $440 million for the COVAX facility to provide doses around the world, for Canadians and for people in developing countries.
Up to $220 million of this investment will go directly towards securing doses for Canadians.
This means this agreement will give us the option to purchase up to 15 million doses for Canadians.
No country can eradicate the pandemic on its own.
To eliminate the virus in one country, we must eliminate it in all countries.
That’s why Canada supports GAVI’s COVAX mechanism and market commitment system.
This initiative will ensure that future vaccines are distributed quickly and equitably around the world.
I am pleased to announce that we are contributing $440 million to the COVAX mechanism to secure doses for Canada and for middle- and low-income countries.
Of this amount, up to $220 million will provide doses for Canadians.
This agreement will therefore give us the option to buy up to 15 million doses for Canadians.
As of today, we now have active cases in every single province, with a significant increase in our four largest provinces.
So please, everyone, keep following public health recommendations.
Wash your hands, keep your distance, wear a mask, and download the COVID Alert app.
What we do now will be critical for the weeks and months to come.
The fight against COVID-19 is not over yet, and we must all continue to do our part.
Our government is right there with you, as we work to keep people safe, while building a stronger, more resilient Canada.