Canada will have a significant amount of Pfizer Inc.'s COVID-19 vaccine on standby if the country needs additional doses, according to the minister in charge of its distribution. 

Minister of Public Services and Procurement Anita Anand told BNN Bloomberg Tuesday that on top of the 20 million doses of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine Canada has already purchased, it has an option to purchase an additional 56 million. 

"We are in good stead with our vaccine suppliers in terms of our negotiations and procurements to date," Anand said. "Of course, we are following the science. So, no vaccine would be distributed in Canada without Health Canada approval, and that includes the Pfizer vaccine." 

Shares of Pfizer rose as much as 15 per cent on Monday after the pharmaceutical company disclosed that its COVID-19 vaccine prevented more than 90 per cent of symptomatic infections in a trial of tens of thousands of volunteers. The news sparked a broad-based market rally that offered fresh hope of an end to a pandemic that has already killed more than 1.2 million people worldwide.

Anand said that Canada has already secured agreements to buy 350 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines from seven manufacturers. The dose count could rise to 414 million if the federal government exercises options with those drug makers.

In addition to the vaccines, Canada has also secured tens of millions of supplies including syringes, waste containers, alcohol swabs, bandages, and gauze strips to help administer the doses, Anand said. She added that the government is in contract negotiations with several shipping and distribution companies tasked with delivering the vaccine across the country. 

"These logistics have been put in place over the past number of months and we will indeed be ready when a vaccine is approved in Canada," she said. 

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