Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that Canada will potentially have the most COVID-19 vaccine doses per capita in the world based on the seven deals made with pharmaceutical companies.
On Tuesday, during a press conference, Trudeau said, “Out of all the possible vaccines Canadians have access to the range of them and frankly, more doses potentially per capita than any other country in the world.”
He added that there are seven vaccine candidates, which makes Canada the “most diverse portfolio of any country for vaccines.”
Trudeau noted that the co-founder of Moderna said that because Canada was among the first to preorder their vaccine doses, “we are guaranteed some of Moderna’s first batch if it’s safe and approved.”
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He said the Johnson & Johnson added their vaccine candidate to be approved by Health Canada yesterday, making it the fourth candidate — Pfizer, AstroZeneca, and BIOTECanada are the other options.
The prime minister noted that he has been in talks with the provinces and territories on how to best distribute the vaccine and how they will invest in freezers and needles.
“In this pandemic, keeping Canadians safe means getting a vaccine as quickly as possible, but it also means making sure that the vaccine is safe for Canadians. We will watch carefully what is going on around the world. Our Health Canada regulators are paying close attention while they are evaluating the top four vaccines that have come forward.”
Trudeau also acknowledged that while the vaccine might be approved faster in the US, he wanted to ensure all the steps are taken to make sure the vaccines are safe for Canadians, “so when we start rolling them out, people can get that vaccine with confidence,” he said.
“There are many different candidates out there, with some more effective than others; some will come more quickly than others. That’s why back in the summer we signed deals with seven different vaccines companies, as we didn’t know which one would land first.”
When the prime minister was asked on the order of distribution after it’s given to vulnerable populations, Trudeau said he will rely on public health experts on the rollout plan.
Last week, health officials said that Canada has reached agreements to procure up to 194 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, with the option to purchase an additional 220 million.