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Canada signs deal to obtain 20M doses of Oxford coronavirus vaccine candidate

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WATCH ABOVE: Trudeau announces agreement with AstraZeneca for 20 million vaccine doses if trials successful – Sep 25, 2020

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada has inked a deal to obtain up to 20 million doses of another coronavirus vaccine candidate.

The vaccine is being developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University.

READ MORE: Here’s when experts say Oxford University’s coronavirus vaccine could be ready

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Coronavirus: Canada’s PM, top doctor urge patience on development of COVID-19 rapid testing – Sep 25, 2020

It’s one of several potential vaccines that the government has signed deals to procure in the event they are successful.

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Agreements were previously reached with major pharmaceutical companies including Sanofi, GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and Novavax.

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“Canadians must have access to a safe and effective vaccine against COVID-19 as quickly as possible, no matter where it was developed,” Trudeau said during a press conference in Ottawa on Friday.

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Coronavirus: Canada secured packaging materials for up to 80 million vaccine doses, minister says – Sep 22, 2020

Trudeau also announced that Canada is joining an international coalition on vaccine distribution.

Canada will contribute $440 million toward the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access Facility, known as COVAX.

Canada is joining both parts of the initiative: one which secures access to millions of doses of vaccines for Canada, and the other which has wealthier nations pooling their funds to help lower and middle-income countries secure doses as well.

The deal will give Canada the option to buy up to 15 million doses, Trudeau said.

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Joining the program will allow Canada to help ensure the successful vaccine is distributed “quickly and fairly” around the world, according to the prime minister.

“This pandemic cannot be solved by any one country alone because to eliminate the virus anywhere, we need to eliminate it everywhere,” he said.

–With files from The Canadian Press