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Novavax submits vaccine for approval as Ottawa seeks EU reassurances on export rules

Last Updated Jan 31, 2021 at 9:02 am PDT

OTTAWA — The federal government is reviewing a new COVID-19 vaccine that has been submitted for regulatory approval.

Maryland-based Novavax quietly applied on Friday for Health Canada to approve its vaccine, which studies have suggested is effective against the British and South African variants of the virus.

The application comes less than two weeks after Ottawa finalized an agreement with the company for 52 million doses of the vaccine, with an option to purchase another 24 million.

The regulatory review also comes as Ottawa continues pressing the European Union on new controls on the export of vaccines from the continent.

International Trade Minister Mary Ng spoke to her European counterpart for the second time in three days on Saturday as part of a broader effort to ensure vaccines bound for Canada will not be affected.

The EU’s new export controls come amid reduced shipments of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine because of a temporary shutdown of its plant in Belgium.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 31, 2021.

The Canadian Press