Canada has signed separate deals with Pfizer Inc and Moderna Inc to supply millions of doses of their experimental coronavirus vaccines, a top official said on Wednesday.
Procurement Minister Anita Anand said Ottawa was “very, very intensely negotiating” multiple deals with a number of other potential domestic and international vaccine suppliers, but did not give details.
There are no approved vaccines for COVID-19, but 19 vaccines are being tested in humans around the world.
“We all want a silver bullet but unfortunately that’s not the case,” Anand told a news conference. Other measures would be needed, such as buying more protective equipment and investing in medicines to alleviate the symptoms of sufferers.
Moderna will provide its mRNA-1273 vaccine candidate. Pfizer – working with German biotech firm BioNTech SE – said separately it planned deliveries of the BNT162 mRNA-based vaccine candidate over the course of 2021.
The deals open a new front in Canada’s vaccine push. The federal government has funded several local projects, including one by Quebec’s Medicago that is in an early stage trial. It has also approved a local trial for a leading Chinese candidate, from CanSino Biologics.
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