India — Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has confirmed that his country could receive Covid-19 vaccines manufactured in India, though discussions in that regard remain in progress.
During the course of a media interaction in Ottawa on Friday, Trudeau said, “We are looking at other possible extra vaccines coming from India, from the Serum Institute (of India). Work is being done closely on that.”
If that deal is arrived it, it will over the 20 million doses of the vaccine that Canada has already placed an order of with AstraZeneca.
Referring to his conversation earlier in the week with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Trudeau said, “It was good to talk to Prime Minister Modi on a range of subjects including the role that India is playing in producing vaccines for the developing world and other issues that are important to us.”
The Canadian PMO readout immediately following the conversation did not mention Trudeau calling Modi with a request for India-made vaccines and said the “two leaders agreed to work together on access to vaccines”.
On the other hand, following the conversation, Modi had tweeted that he “was happy to receive a call from my friend, @JustinTrudeau” and added, “Assured him that India would do its best to facilitate supplies of Covid vaccines sought by Canada.”
For the time being, Canada’s current contract is for the AstraZeneca shipment to arrive from the United States, contingent on public health authorities providing emergency authorisation to the vaccine.
However, with the US stressing priority for its own citizens when it comes to vaccines manufactured there, there is lack of clarity on that front.
The Serum Institute is working with Verity Pharmaceuticals, based in the Greater Toronto Area, for importing the vaccines to Canada, as and when an arrangement is finalised with Canadian authorities.
“Our arrangement is currently being finalised. And as soon as it is finalised, I will have more information to share with you and with all Canadians,” public services and procurement minister Anita Anand told the media.
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