Canada’s federal government said Monday it had signed agreements with two U.S. drug companies to secure up to 114 million doses of potential COVID-19 vaccines under development.
Deals are now in place for Canada to get access to vaccines being tested by both Johnson & Johnson and Novavax.
Earlier this month, Ottawa signed similar deals with Pfizer and Moderna.
The vaccines are still in either Phase 2 or 3 clinical trials and won’t be purchased unless they are deemed safe and effective by Health Canada.
Novavax, a Maryland-based biotechnology company, announced in a press release Monday that it has struck a deal to produce 76 million doses of a vaccine that it is working on for the Canadian government, should the vaccine ever get Health Canada approval.
Later in the day, Ottawa announced it has signed a separate deal with a subsidiary of New Jersey-based drug conglomerate Johnson & Johnson to secure up to 38 million doses of the company’s potential vaccine, which is completely different from Novavax’s.
The vaccines are two of dozens in development around the world, each of which targets the virus that causes COVID-19 in a different way.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday, the vaccines all show promising results and Canada is signing multiple deals to be sure when a vaccine is approved Canadians can get access to it.
COVID-19 has now killed more than 846,000 people around the world since the start of this year, including, 9,120 in Canada.
The agreement with Novovax “will give Canadians access to a promising COVID-19 vaccine candidate,” Anita Anand, Canada’s minister of public services and procurement, in a news release on Monday.
Health Minister Pattorters a vaccine for COVID-19 will be more effective if large numbers of people get it.
WATCH: Federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu answers a question about how many Canadians may need to be vaccinated.
Novavax said Monday the vaccine, should it work and be safe, would be available to Canadians as early as the second quarter of next year.
Novavax has signed similar deals with the United Kingdom, India, the Czech Republic, South Africa and Japan to supply doses of the potential vaccine.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
With files from CBC News, The Canadian Press