Canada to receive early delivery of COVID-19 vaccine

The Government of Canada is delivering on its commitment to ensure that Canadians have access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines as soon as possible.

The Honourable Anita Anand, Minister of Public Services and Procurement, announced today that following successful negotiations, Canada will receive up to 249,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in December 2020, contingent on Health Canada authorization of the vaccine.

These doses are part of the up to 76 million doses Canada has secured through its existing agreement with Pfizer. As with all COVID-19 vaccine candidates, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine must be authorized by Health Canada before being administered to Canadians.

Pfizer, the Public Health Agency of Canada with the Canadian Armed Forces, and the Provinces and Territories are working together to finalize preparations at the first point-of-use sites this week, including training on how to handle the product, which must be transported and stored at -70 degrees Celsius.

Important logistical tests are planned, beginning with a dry run with Pfizer this week, led by the National Operations Centre. This dry run will be used to confirm the ordering, shipping and importation processes from the point of manufacture to the point of use across Canada. In this initial dry run with Pfizer, a shipping container with dry ice and a data-logger will simulate a shipment of the vaccine.

The Government of Canada expects to conduct other rehearsals to confirm ordering and shipping processes for additional vaccines as they become available. These test activities are important to ensure that the Provinces and Territories have the necessary infrastructure and equipment in place and are able to plan to effectively and efficiently administer COVID-19 vaccines as they roll-out.

Pfizer submitted an application for regulatory review of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate under Health Canada’s interim order on October 9, 2020. Results of this review are expected soon.

“The Government of Canada continues to do everything possible to protect Canadians from COVID-19. This includes securing the world’s most extensive portfolio of vaccines and taking all necessary measures to ready the country to receive doses once they are authorized for use.”

The Honourable Anita Anand
Minister of Public Services and Procurement

“We continue to prepare for distribution with provinces and territories, as experts and scientists of the government of Canada are assessing the safety of COVID-19 vaccine candidates. Canadians can be confident that when a vaccine is ready, Canada will be ready.”

The Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Health

Quick facts

  • The Public Health Agency of Canada is working with all levels of industry, government and health agencies to have 14 locations across Canada ready to receive the Pfizer vaccines in December 2020.
  • Up to 249,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine will arrive in a series of shipments, not all at once.
  • The dry run with Pfizer in December will allow for the validation of logistical processes prior to distribution on a national scale.
  • The Government of Canada has signed agreements with the following companies to secure access to their COVID-19 vaccine candidates:
    • Pfizer, which will supply a minimum of 20 million doses and up to 76 million doses of its messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine candidate developed with BioNTech, BNT162b2.
    • Medicago, which will supply up to 76 million doses of its virus-like particle vaccine candidate.
    • AstraZeneca, which will supply up to 20 million doses of its viral vector vaccine candidate AZD1222.
    • Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline, which will supply up to 72 million doses of their protein subunit vaccine candidate.
    • Johnson & Johnson, which will supply up to 38 million doses of its viral vector vaccine candidate Ad26.COV2.S.
    • Novavax, which will supply up to 76 million doses of its protein subunit vaccine candidate NVX-CoV2373.
    • Moderna, which will supply up to 56 million doses of its mRNA vaccine candidate mRNA-1273.
  • All vaccine candidates must go through pre-clinical and clinical trials. Health Canada will continue to review evidence of safety, efficacy, and manufacturing quality for each vaccine candidate as it becomes available to decide whether the product will be approved for use in Canada.
  • At this time, there are no vaccines authorized for the prevention of COVID-19 in Canada.
  • The Government of Canada has purchased 126 freezers to store COVID-19 vaccines, including 26 freezers to store ultra-low temperature vaccines such as the Pfizer vaccine. To date, 9 ultra-low temperature freezers have been delivered.

Source: Release #notw

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