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HomeNewsVaccine order will get Canada 'prepared for future flu pandemics'

Vaccine order will get Canada ‘prepared for future flu pandemics’

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Federal cope with GlaxoSmithKline will see thousands and thousands of doses produced in Ste-Foy.

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In anticipation of future flu pandemics, the Canadian authorities has secured a cope with pharmaceutical firm GlaxoSmithKline to make sure entry to influenza vaccines.

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The contract was introduced Friday by federal Well being Minister Jean-Yves Duclos on the GSK facility in Ste-Foy, the place the vaccines will likely be produced.

The deal contains the choice to acquire as much as 80 million doses of pandemic influenza vaccine, and ensures a minimal of 4 million seasonal influenza vaccine doses yearly to be used in publicly funded applications, with first deliveries scheduled for the autumn of 2022.

The deal will span 4 years, with the choice to increase for 5 one-year intervals.

“We will likely be prepared for future flu pandemics,” Duclos mentioned Friday. “The brand new contract signed with GSK will allow Canada to proceed to have safe entry to the flu vaccine fabricated right here in Quebec.”

GSK, one of many largest pharmaceutical corporations on this planet, is the one self-sufficient Canadian producer for influenza vaccines, Duclos mentioned. By making ready for the flu pandemic by way of the corporate, “we will make sure that Canada’s provide isn’t put in peril by closed borders, business or transportation points.”

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The worth of the contract was not disclosed for confidentiality causes.

Duclos mentioned Canada has invested $1.8 billion into 32 tasks associated to bio-manufacturing, together with vaccines and different medicine, to bolster the nation’s capability to intervene within the occasion of a pandemic. That features an funding of greater than $450 million in 11 tasks in Quebec.

The struggles Canada has confronted amid the COVID-19 pandemic over the previous two years remind us that we should be able to face future well being crises, Duclos mentioned.

“It’s true not just for the safety of our system, but additionally for the safety of our well being staff, and likewise as we’ve seen over the previous two years, for the safety of our financial well-being but additionally our social tissue,” he mentioned. “If there is only one lesson to study from the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s the capital significance of vaccination.”

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Duclos mentioned that by some estimates the COVID-19 vaccine has saved about 20 million lives world wide, simply in 2021.

The influenza cope with GSK — which continues a 20-year relationship between the events for such vaccines — would have moved ahead even with out the present pandemic, Duclos mentioned.

“We would definitely have needed to do it as a result of we now have identified for a very long time the seasonal flu is with us — will probably be for a very long time,” he mentioned. “The flu pandemic reveals up each 10-40 years — the final time was with H1N1 in 2009 — so it’s already been 13 years.

“With local weather change, with frequent contacts with pure areas, deforestation, urbanization, with speedy and frequent actions by way of international locations and areas, this sort of virus evolves extra shortly — and by extension impacts populations extra shortly too, so we’d have needed to do it.”

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COVID-19 illustrated how detrimental pandemics could be, Duclos added, which has allowed the federal government to maneuver ahead with the deal extra confidently.

Ranya El-Masri, vice-president of presidency affairs and market entry at GSK Canada, mentioned the deal “is of the very best significance to us.”

“(It) supplies assurance to Canadians that they may have entry to seasonal and pandemic flu vaccines with a product manufactured proper right here in Ste-Foy, Quebec, Canada,” she mentioned. “I’m extraordinarily happy with the work we do at GSK to guard kids and adults by way of immunization.”

Duclos mentioned the flu vaccine marketing campaign this fall will likely be significantly vital since COVID-19 continues to be current and the health-care system is already struggling.

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“The mixture of those two respiratory diseases would require for us to be significantly environment friendly and united when it would come time to guard ourselves,” he mentioned, including that Canada has a decrease vaccine charge for boosters than all different G7 international locations (besides america) regardless of having surpassed most different international locations for the primary two doses.

“Over the course of the pandemic we now have seen that vaccines are one of the best ways to guard ourselves, to guard our household, to guard our work colleagues,” he mentioned.

kthomas@postmedia.com

twitter.com/katelynthomas

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