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In addition to the Oxford / AstraZeneca deal, Canada has signed agreements with Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Novavax, Pfizer and Moderna, in total more than 150 million doses have passed through the six companies.
Assuming vaccine candidates pass clinical trials, Anand said all companies are expected to ship to Canada in early 2021.
Conservative MP Michelle Rempel Garner said she wanted more detailed information from the government on exactly when Canada can expect vaccines and where the country ranks first for deliveries.
She said she also wanted the government to place as much emphasis on rapid testing for COVID-19 as it did on vaccines.
“I think they should also consider rapid home testing as a solution to tackling the spread of COVID, given that we don’t really have a timeline for any of these other vaccine issues.”
Canada’s director of public health, Dr Theresa Tam, said she has kept in touch with Health Canada, which is responsible for approving rapid test units, and has so far said that they needed more information to be sure the tests will be accurate.
“There was very little data submitted to the regulator and you need minimal basic clinical information.”
Tam used the example of the Spartan Cube, a test unit approved by Health Canada early in the process, but eventually recalled. The cube could detect the virus, but the swabs used to collect the samples were not long enough to collect adequate samples.
“It worked fine in a lab, but you use it in real life, there was a problem with the swab. So you have to test these things, ”she said. “Everything has to work in real life.”
Rempel Garner said she understands the need for testing, but wants the government to be as aggressive about finding good test kits as it is about vaccines.
“Since there are many technologies in the world that have been developed and approved by developed countries, why don’t we have the same priority?”
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