Up to 80 million vaccines for Canada in the event of a pandemic influenza

In order to counter a possible pandemic flu, Canada has entered into a new 4-year agreement with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), which will provide it with up to 80 million vaccines if needed, the Federal Health Minister, Jean-Yves, announced Friday. Duclos.

This contract will allow Canada to obtain safe and effective influenza vaccines in a timely manner in the event of a pandemic influenza, said the elected official, who passes through the GSK vaccine production center in Sainte-Foy.

In the event of a pandemic caused by a new strain of influenza, up to 80 million doses of the vaccine will be delivered to Ottawa for all Canadians, two per person. The agreement also provides for at least 4 million doses of seasonal influenza vaccine annually.

“Pandemic influenza happens about every 10 to 40 years,” Mr. Duclos recalls, noting that the last episode dates back to 2009, with the A (H1N1) virus. He noted that climate change, deforestation, increased frequent contact with natural environments and regular movements between countries make “this type of virus evolve rapidly.”

The minister said that reaching an agreement with “Canada’s only self-sufficient supplier of pandemic influenza vaccines” would help avoid supply problems that could be due to border closures, trade disruptions or delivery delays.

When asked about the amounts associated with this contract, the federal elected official replied that the information was “not public” for reasons of confidentiality.

double drive

Minister Duclos said a double vaccination campaign will be necessary next fall to protect the population from both COVID-19 and seasonal flu. “Our health care system is fragile and our health care workers are tired,” he noted.

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With regard to the “modern” immunization of the population against Covid-19, which means receiving a dose of the vaccine in the past nine months, Minister Duclos emphasized that Canada “is lagging behind all the G7 countries, with the exception of the United States.” We need to make more efforts. »

Duclos also encouraged parents of children aged six months to five years to vaccinate their young children against COVID-19. Health Canada on Thursday approved the use of the Spikevax Moderna vaccine in this age group. He emphasized that if it was “normal to have concerns”, “the product is very safe and effective.”

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