Covid-19: Ottawa buys 1.5 million tablets against the virus

Ottawa has signed two deals to receive 1.5 million pills to treat the worst symptoms of COVID-19.

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The Minister of Supply, Philomena Tassi, confirmed Friday that the first agreement concluded with Pfizer, which has already provided a large part of the incoming vaccines in the country, provides for the arrival of one million of these oral treatments.

The second concerns Merck, with whom Ottawa has agreed to deliver the first 500,000 capsules, with the option to receive an additional 500,000 capsules if needed.

“While vaccines continue to play a pivotal role in preventing the spread and severity of cases, there is a need for other treatment options to help reduce the burden of COVID-19,” said Marwan Akar, President and CEO of Merck Canada.

Note that none of these products have been approved by Health Canada, but the government is preparing to deliver them to the provinces as soon as Public Health gives the green light.

2.9 million doses for children

Canada has received a total of 2.9 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine designed specifically for children ages 5 to 11.

Minister Tassi declared that the number of doses currently available “is sufficient to immunize all eligible children across the country”.

These COVID-19 vaccines contain concentrations of messenger RNA that are three times smaller than vaccines for people 12 years of age or older.

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