Negotiating contracts for vaccines in development needed flexibility: Anand
OTTAWA – Procurement Minister Anita Anand says that as soon as she knows when the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine will arrive in Canada, she will share that information with Canadians.
But Anand told The Canadian Press in an interview this week that the original contracts to buy COVID-19 vaccines had to be vague about delivery dates because nobody knew at the time if the vaccines would be successful.
It’s only in the last few weeks, when the leading candidates from Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca reported such positive results from their large clinical trials, that the way forward became clear enough for Anand’s department to start asking the companies to be more specific about when they can make good on their contracts with Canada.
“We put these contracts in place in order to place Canadians in the best stead possible, of any country in the world, recognizing that we would need to negotiate additional terms such as precise delivery dates, once a vaccine was discovered, and regulatory approval was obtained,” she said. “And that is what’s happening now.”
As Canadians face a pandemic-plagued holiday season and dream that 2021 will not be the anxiety-laden and often tragic disaster that 2020 has proven to be, there is one gleaming hope dangling still just out of reach: a vaccine for COVID-19.