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Trudeau Unveils Covid-19 Vaccine Deals with Novavax, J&J

(Bloomberg) — Canada has agreed to buy more than 100 million Covid-19 vaccines from Novavax Inc. and Johnson & Johnson, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday.

The new agreements will guarantee as many as 76 million doses of NVX-CoV2373 from Gaithersburg, Maryland-based Novavax and 38 million doses of Ad26.COV2.S from New Brunswick, New Jersey-based Johnson & Johnson, Trudeau told reporters in Ottawa.

“It is possible that there is a breakthrough soon that will allow us to get a vaccine more quickly, but we don’t know where or if that breakthrough will come,” Trudeau said. “That’s why the government of Canada has moved forward on signing agreements with a broad range of vaccine developers.”

The deals for Covid-19 vaccines add to previously signed procurement agreements with Pfizer Inc., based in New York, for at least 20 million doses and Cambridge, Mass.-based Moderna Inc. for as many as 56 million doses.

Canada will “continue to negotiate and sign other agreements with a number of leading pharmaceutical companies, to ensure the supply of potential vaccines in Canada,” according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office. There are currently no vaccines approved to prevent Covid-19.

NVX-CoV2373 is currently in Phase 2 testing in countries including the U.S., Australia and South Africa. Novavax said it could provide the vaccine as early as June 2021.

“We are pleased to work with the Canadian government on supply of our COVID-19 vaccine, an essential step to ensure broad access of our vaccine candidate,” Stan Erck, chief executive officer at Novavax, said in a statement. “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.”

Trudeau also said it was “unfortunate” a deal to develop a vaccine with CanSino Biologics Inc. fell through after China refused to allow their research to be exported to Canada.

As of Aug. 30, Canada had reported 127,940 cases of Covid-19, with 9,117 deaths.

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