Government of Canada announces major steps in treating and preventing COVID-19 through vaccines and therapies
“The Government is committed to protecting the health and safety of Canadians. That’s why we are working hard on all possible fronts to deliver safe and effective treatments and vaccines against COVID-19 for Canadians as fast as possible. Guided by the expertise of these task forces, which has informed the VBI investment announced today, we are leaving no stone unturned in exploring every promising option to enhance our research and development capacity for long-term emergency preparedness.”
– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry
“Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have been working diligently to secure the necessary personal protective equipment and supplies needed to protect frontline healthcare workers and combat COVID-19. While that work continues, we are now squarely focused on preparing Canada for an eventual vaccine. Given intense global competition, we are taking an aggressive approach to secure access to the most promising candidates so that we will be ready to vaccinate all Canadians as quickly as possible. We are extremely pleased to establish these agreements with Pfizer and Moderna. Canadians can rest assured that the Government will continue to do everything possible to keep them healthy and safe.”
– The Honourable Anita Anand, Minister of Public Services and Procurement
“Canada has flattened the curve, but COVID-19 remains dangerous without a vaccine. Over the last months, our government has been investing to fight this virus. We have been committing important funding toward research and preparedness to develop a vaccine and treatments. Today’s announcements will build on the work already started to support COVID-19 research in Canada and will give us more chances of having a vaccine and treatments.”
– The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health
On April 23, 2020, the Government of Canada announced more than $1 billion in support of the Plan to Mobilize Science to fight COVID-19 that includes developing vaccines, producing treatments and tracking the virus. This includes $600 million through the Strategic Innovation Fund to support COVID-19 vaccine and therapy clinical trials led by the private sector, as well as to support Canadian biomanufacturing opportunities. The Strategic Innovation Fund contribution to VBI is part of this plan.
This investment in VBI is part of the Government of Canada’s ongoing commitment to protect the health and safety of Canadians and to Canada’s economy. This investment will help create and maintain up to 30 full-time jobs.
The COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force, with a secretariat supported by the National Research Council of Canada, is mandated to provide advice to the Government of Canada on developing and producing COVID-19 vaccines.
The COVID-19 Therapeutics Task Force, supported by a secretariat housed at Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, is mandated to provide advice to the Government of Canada on COVID-19 therapeutics.
At this time, there are no vaccines authorized for the prevention of COVID-19, but there are many in clinical trials or in development. For each candidate vaccine, once additional studies have been completed, Health Canada will review evidence of safety, efficacy and manufacturing quality to make a decision on whether the individual vaccines will be approved for use in Canada.
The Vaccine Task Force will be in place for at least twelve months, and the Therapeutics Task Force for at least six months, subject to extension at the discretion of the Government of Canada. Both task forces meet regularly as needed.
Public Services and Procurement Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada, Health Canada, and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada are working together, along with the COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force, to prepare for the procurement of COVID-19 vaccines and related supplies.
As active negotiations with other potential vaccine suppliers are under way, the Government of Canada cannot disclose contract details at this time.
Pfizer is a biopharmaceutical company involved in the discovery, development and manufacture of health care products, including medicines and vaccines.
Moderna is a biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of medicines and vaccines made of messenger RNA.
- Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
- Helping Canadians with the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic
- Prime Minister outlines Canada's COVID-19 response
- Prime Minister announces new actions under Canada's COVID-19 response
- Prime Minister announces more support for workers and businesses through Canada's COVID-19 Economic Response Plan
- Prime Minister announces Canada's Plan to Mobilize Science to fight COVID-19
- Prime Minister announces Canada's Plan to Mobilize Industry to fight COVID-19
- COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force
- COVID-19 Therapeutics Task Force
Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry
Office of the Honourable Anita Anand
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
Public Services and Procurement Canada
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