Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced that Canada may utilize COVID-19 vaccines manufactured in India for their vaccination drives as well. Although it must be noted that discussions are in advancement.
On Friday 12th February while addressing the media in Ottawa, Trudeau said, “We are looking at other possible extra vaccines coming from India, from the Serum Institute (of India). Work is being done closely on that.”
Canada will order 20 million doses more of the vaccine than the already placed order with AstraZeneca.
With respect to Trudeau’s conversation earlier in the week with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he said, “It was good to talk to Prime Minister Modi on a range of subjects including the role that India is playing in producing vaccines for the developing world and other issues that are important to us.”
The Canadian PMO’s readout after the talk did not state that Trudeau called Modi with a request for the Indian made vaccines and said the “two leaders agreed to work together on access to vaccines”.
Meanwhile, Modi tweeted that he “was happy to receive a call from my friend, @JustinTrudeau” and added, “Assured him that India would do its best to facilitate supplies of Covid vaccines sought by Canada.”
Presently, Canada’s contract is for the AstraZeneca shipment to arrive from the United States, dependent on public health authorities providing emergency authorization to the vaccine.
However, as the US is focusing their priority on its own citizens when it comes to vaccines manufactured there, there is a lack of clarity.
The Serum Institute is working in collaboration with Verity Pharmaceuticals, based in the Greater Toronto Area, for importing the vaccines to Canada, as and when an arrangement is agreed upon with Canadian authorities.
“Our arrangement is currently being finalised. And as soon as it is finalised, I will have more information to share with you and with all Canadians,” public services and procurement minister Anita Anand told the media.