Canada is 'doing it right' on COVID vaccine strategy: Novavax CEO
Despite the criticism surrounding Canada’s vaccine strategy, Novavax Inc. is doubling down on its partnership with the country.
“I can tell you I think Canada’s doing it right,” said Stanley Erck, president and chief executive officer of Novavax. “They’re going to be one of the first countries to get a vaccine from us and we think we have a great vaccine.”
Ottawa struck a deal with the U.S.-based developer to produce its vaccine in a new Montreal facility once the product is approved for use. Innovation Minister François-Philippe Champagne said on Tuesday he expects production to be approved by the end of the year.
Canada’s vaccine roll-out came under fire as it lagged behind other G7 countries that had a larger percentage of their populations vaccinated against the virus. Part of the strategy is to provide a vaccine for every Canadian who would like access to one by the end of September, according to the federal government.
Novavax applied on Friday to have its vaccine candidate approved by Health Canada and it is still compiling data from its clinical trials. Once approved and distributed, Erck suggested that the company's COVID-19 vaccine could put the company on the path to profitability.
Erck said meeting Canada's vaccine demands will require a broader effort by the global pharmaceutical community.
“This is not just a one-vaccine company world in a pandemic,” Erck said. “We all need each other to succeed in this pandemic… I think we’re all scrambling to make as much product as we can.”