Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Friday that his government will reserve up to 20 million doses of another COVID-19 vaccine candidate, under a deal with AstraZeneca, bringing the total number of guaranteed doses to 174 million.
“We want Canadians to have access to effective and safe vaccines that could come from all over the world. Today, we are taking one more step in the right direction, ”the Liberal leader said during a press briefing in Ottawa.
This new agreement is in addition to those already concluded with Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Novavax, Pfizer and Moderna, which therefore means a “guaranteed minimum” of 174 million doses, said Supply Minister Anita Anand .
The Trudeau government also announced that Canada will invest approximately $ 220 million in the Mechanism for Global Access to COVID-19 Vaccines, which is expected to provide 15 million doses to Canadians.
Asked about Health Canada's slowness in approving rapid screening tests, the Prime Minister argued that “no one would want the quality of science to be compromised” by any form of political pressure to speed up the pace. He assured that multiple efforts are made so that the tests can be accessed quickly once authorized.