Canada signs vaccine deal with Novavax

Canada confirmed a signed deal between itself and the US vaccine manufacturing firm Novavax. The  US-based firm is expected to manufacture millions of Covid-19 vaccines at a production facility to be built in Montreal.

Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau said in a statement that the deal is one of several currently ongoing and that the deals are part of Canada's plan to increase its access to vaccine production for decades to come.

Canada to purchase 52million doses from Novovax 

Canada has agreed to purchase 52 million doses from Novavax if and when the vaccine is approved for use by the Canadian health board. 

During a news conference in Ottawa, Trudeau said Canada is going to focus on manufacturing its own vaccines. Domestic production will protect Canada from future pandemics and will be added to its current partnerships and deals with foreign companies.

The vaccine approval from the Canadian health board is not expected anytime soon. Domestic production is also scheduled to start latest in the fall. The delay has left  Canada with a substantial deficit of vaccines. 

Canada experiencing a shortage of vaccines for its citizens 

Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna- the only vaccines currently authorized for use in Canada- have significantly restricted deliveries to Canada due to a combination of manufacturing hiccups and demands from Europe.

According to public health data released by the Canadian federal government, just 2% of Canada's population have gotten inoculated against COVID-19 once. 

Provinces in Canada responsible for vaccine distribution are reportedly discouraged, as mass vaccination sites are ready without the needed vaccine doses. 

Retired general Rick Hillier, the leader of Ontario's vaccine task force said the provinces can immunize several thousand people each per day with the possibility of increasing the number. He described the mood at the vaccine centers as "discouraged" and "unsettled".