Canada announces deal with Novavax for domestic COVID-19 vaccine production

Tam urges provinces not to ease restrictions

The government is hoping to keep cases of new COVID-19 variants at bay as it grapples with a slowdown in vaccine shipments and an ongoing second wave of the pandemic.

The government says the project proposal was reviewed by the COVID-19 joint biomanufacturing subcommittee.

Trudeau says Novavax will be producing doses at a new National Research Council facility in Montreal as soon as the facility is online in late summer. Considering vaccine distribution to countries with less developed healthcare infrastructure, a combination of acceptable efficacy, good protection in high-risk groups, and ease of distribution by being more stable at lower temperatures, such as vaccines from AstraZeneca, Novavax, and J&J, will be equally important.

In August of a year ago, Trudeau announced that $123 million would be used to build an entirely new manufacturing centre next to the Royalmount facility, for the objective of producing deliverable vaccine doses. PNI is planning to build a $50.2-million biomanufacturing centre, which could produce vaccine or other therapeutics.

Up to $14 million to Edesa Biotech Inc.

Canada's shipments have been delayed or reduced by production slowdowns, but Trudeau said the promised four million doses from Pfizer and two million from Moderna are still expected to arrive by the end of March, and 40 million from each by the fall.

The memorandum of understanding also includes a broader intention for the Government of Canada and Novavax to work together to increase the company's Canadian presence.

The UK variant of the coronavirus has developed a new, concerning mutation in a small number of cases, which scientists said makes it similar to the South African and Brazilian variants and could reduce the efficacy of vaccines.

"Our government is bringing back the vaccine manufacturing capacity that Canadians expect and need".

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Canada has been depending on Europe for vaccine supply. The company has supply agreements for 200 million doses with the European Union and for 100 million doses with the U.S. government.

India is expected to grant emergency use authorization for Russia's Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine this month or next, the Russian Direct Investment Fund said.

Canada's official COVID-19 death toll surpassed 20,000 on Sunday as flights to major sun destinations were grounded in an effort to limit further spread of the virus.

Federal officials still maintain that by September, every Canadians who wants a COVID-19 vaccine will have access to one.

Canada has already approved vaccines to prevent COVID-19, which are being distributed across the country.

Canada has a deal to buy 52 million doses of the Novavax vaccine.

Precision NanoSystems Incorporated is a global leader in innovative solutions for the discovery, development, and manufacturing of nanomedicines to treat infectious diseases and cancer.

Once construction wraps up on the new facility and it receives certification, Industry Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne says production could commence by year's end.

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