WINNIPEG — The Manitoba government will be purchasing two million doses of the Providence Therapeutics mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.
The vaccine is currently undergoing clinical trials, adding another promising vaccine to the mix of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to innoculate as many Manitobans as possible against the virus.
“The number one limiting factor in administering life-saving immunizations to Canadians is the lack of a secure domestic vaccine supply made here in Canada,” said Premier Brian Pallister.
“Today, we are reliant on the federal government buying vaccines from pharmaceutical companies located offshore. The result has been Canadians receiving needed COVID-19 vaccines slower than almost 50 other countries, with weekly disruptions in supply.”
The mRNA COVID-19 will be produced in Manitoba by Alberta-based Providence Therapeutics, with Emergent BioSolutions filling vials in Winnipeg. A provincial agreement with the company will ensure Manitoba receives the first 200,000 doses of their new vaccine as soon as it is approved for sale in Canada.
Costs of the agreement haven’t been released, but Pallister says it includes a “best-price guarantee.”
The second round of clinical trials on the new vaccine is anticipated to begin this spring. Health Canada approval of the new vaccine is expected later this year.