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Le Canada signe une entente pour obtenir 96 millions de doses de vaccin antigrippal

Canada signs deal for 96 million doses of flu vaccine

Frederic Lacroix-Couture, The Canadian Press

Ottawa wants to prepare for future seasonal and pandemic influenza. The federal government has entered into a new agreement with the British multinational company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), based in Quebec, to deliver and produce vaccine doses locally over the next four years.

Canada will have the option to purchase up to 80 million doses of the pandemic flu vaccine under the contract that went into effect earlier this month. It also provides the provision of at least 4 million doses of seasonal influenza vaccine annually.

The agreement was unveiled Friday at GSK Canada in Quebec, in the Sainte-Foy sector, where 900 people work.

Federal Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said that by engaging with the country’s only self-sufficient Canadian supplier of pandemic influenza vaccines, Canada is protecting itself from various obstacles.

“By using local production here in Canada, we can ensure that Canadian supplies are not jeopardized by border closures, trade disruptions, transportation issues or shipping delays,” he told a news conference.

The first doses of seasonal flu are expected by October, under this contract which can be extended for up to five additional one-year periods.

For reasons of confidentiality, the amount Ottawa awarded to GSK Canada has not been publicly disclosed.

Even without the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government would have signed a new agreement with GSK, Minister Duclos said.

Seasonal flu has been here for a long time, he said, and pandemic flu occurs every 10 to 40 years.

“With climate change, more frequent contact, deforestation, urbanization, and faster and more frequent movements across countries, this type of virus evolves faster and therefore affects people faster as well,” the liberal-elect said.

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The relationship between the pharmaceutical company and the federal government dates back to 2001, in particular with the agreement to supply vaccines against pandemic and seasonal influenza.

Delaying stimulant doses

Duclos took advantage of the announcement to stress the importance of getting a booster dose of the vaccine against COVID-19 at a time when transmission of the virus is still growing in several regions with the BA.5 variant, which is highly transferable.

Quebec and Canada have had high vaccination rates for the first and second doses, but they are “late” compared to other G7 countries, with the exception of the United States, in terms of vaccination for the third dose, A-confirmed.

Modern vaccination reduces the risks of infection, transmission and the development of dangerous forms of COVID-19, and protects against hospitalization as well as COVID in the long term, said Mr. Duclos.

The minister also welcomed Health Canada’s approval of the Moderna vaccine for children aged six months to five years, and encouraged parents to vaccinate their young children.

For those who have concerns about vaccinating their young, Mr. Duclos replied that the test results are “very strong” and the expert opinion is “very clear”; The minister explained that it is a “very safe” and “effective” product, especially in reducing the risk of serious diseases.

Thursday’s approval expands eligibility for a COVID-19 vaccine to nearly two million children in Canada.

This post was produced with financial assistance from Meta Exchanges and The Canadian Press for News.