Canada will purchase a large quantity of the experimental vaccine.
American pharmaceutical company Novavax announced today that they have reached a principle agreement with Canada to sell a large quantity of their currently-experimental COVID-19 vaccine. Provided the vaccine can attain official licensing from Health Canada, the deal is expected to be finalized as early as Q2 2021.
The vaccine, NVX-CoV2373, is currently in stage two of its medical testing trials, in which human volunteers will test its efficiency in a blind study with a placebo control. According to Novavax, late-stage testing trials could begin as early as October.
“We are moving forward with clinical development of NVX-CoV2373 with a strong sense of urgency in our quest to deliver a vaccine to protect the world,” Novavax CEO Stanley Erck said in a statement.
“This is an important step in our government’s efforts to secure a vaccine to keep Canadians safe and healthy, as the global pandemic evolves,” said Anita Anand, Canada’s minister of Public Services and Procurement.
Many first-world countries have been inking deals with pharmaceutical companies in order to secure the maximum possible number of COVID-19 vaccine doses whenever they are ready. In addition to Novavax, Canada also has principle deals with Pfizer and Moderna. The United States currently holds deals with six potential vaccine providers in a series of investments valued over $10 billion. These investments are part of the US Government’s efforts to produce a safe and effective vaccine by the beginning of 2021, an initiative named “Operation Warp Speed.”
CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield has cautioned that even when a vaccine is finally completed and deemed safe, doses will likely be in short supply.
“At first, there will likely be a limited supply of one or more of the Covid-19 vaccines, because limited doses will be available,” Redfield told reporters on Friday during a conference call. “It’s important that the early vaccines are distributed in a fair, ethical and transparent way.”