Canada negotiates contract to secure COVID 19 booster shots next year: Anand

Ottawa-Canada’s Minister of Procurement says it is in the process of negotiating a new vaccine contract to finalize the supply of vaccine booster shots if needed next year.

“We are actively planning for 2022,” Anita Anand said in a recent interview with the Canadian press.

She said Canada’s top priority is still being taken, and while Canada is far behind the United States, the United Kingdom and several other countries, the pace of vaccination has risen significantly last month. I did.

In Canada, by the end of September at the latest, all adults will be fully vaccinated with both Pfizer-BioNTech, Modana, Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines, or a single dose of Johnson & Johnson.

Teens may also be vaccinated by then, but vaccines for children under the age of 12 are not expected to be approved at least until the fall.

Still, many experts need additional booster shots to remind the immune system of what it needs to do, or to protect it from some new variants of the virus that causes COVID-19. I believe it will be.

Most of Canada’s current vaccine suppliers have already tested new versions against variants such as Pfizer and Moderna.

Health Canada has begun plans to approve boosters without the same extensive testing required to approve the original vaccine. This is similar to the way influenza vaccinations are approved each year because new strains of the influenza virus are considered predominant.

Canada has purchased 117.6 million doses of four already licensed vaccines, which allows all Canadians to be fully vaccinated once and about half of the population twice.

If Canada approves the vaccine from Novavax, Medicago, or Sanofi-GlaxoSmithKline, an additional 124 million doses will be possible.

And although some of them have already expired, there are options for up to 180 million additional doses.

Anand said getting a booster shot isn’t as easy as extending an existing contract.

“Sometimes we amend the contract, and sometimes we negotiate additional contracts,” she said. “Therefore, the 2022 purchase plan is very fierce at this point, but the important thing is to make the contract flexible to ensure that you get the dose you need after 2022.”

She said Canada could also look for vaccines outside of existing suppliers. If it is recommended by the National Task Force to advise the government on which vaccine to follow.

Most of those discussions will require Canada to import vaccines made elsewhere. Medicago plans several doses in Canada, and Novavax is registered at the National Research Council facility in Montreal for up to 2 million doses per month from the end of this year to the beginning of 2022. I am.

100% dependence on imports has hit Canada’s vaccine program so far. All suppliers said they had asked Canada to administer domestically, but did not think Canada had the facilities available to do so quickly enough.

Data from the Our World in Data project show that Canada’s immunization rates now exceed much of the world when deliveries slowed to almost zero for a month in February and early March after a very rocky winter. Indicates that you are.

Comparisons with other countries are complicated by several factors, such as which vaccine is used. Most vaccines require two doses, but in some countries, including Canada, they chose to delay the second dose in order to get more people to get the first dose earlier.

So, for example, in the UK, where the second vaccination was delayed by up to 12 weeks, per capita injections are higher than in the US, but only 1 in 10 people are fully vaccinated. However, the United States has completely vaccinated one in five people.

In terms of per capita vaccination, Canada lags behind about 33rd in the world and 6th in G7 countries. Only Japan, which just started vaccination in February, is late.

A month ago, Canada was about 50th, but the vaccination rate doubled in four weeks, 3.5 times for every 1,000 people, and almost seven times this week. Currently, its vaccination coverage is higher than all other G7 and G20 countries except the United States.

Canada is currently ranked 16th in the world for new vaccinations and is 14th in the world in terms of vaccinations as the second vaccination is delayed by up to 4 months. ..

But when it comes to fully vaccinated people, Canada is 38th.

Canada is currently vaccinated once in more than one in five people, from less than one in ten four weeks ago.

Mia Loveson