Question Period Note: Procurement of monkeypox vaccine

About

Reference number:
PSPC-2022-QP-00027
Date received:
Jun 6, 2022
Organization:
Public Services and Procurement Canada
Name of Minister:
Tassi, Filomena (Hon.)
Title of Minister:
Minister of Public Services and Procurement

Issue/Question:

Public Services and Procurement Canada continues to work with the Public Health Agency of Canada to procure vaccines and other pharmaceuticals in support of government preparedness for public health threats, including ones that could be used for monkeypox if needed.

Notes:

  • All questions regarding the regulatory review of vaccines should be directed to Health Canada
  • All vaccine and therapeutic health-related questions and questions about allocation and distribution should be directed to Public Health Agency of Canada
  • All National Emergency Strategic Stockpile (NESS) questions should be directed to Public Health Agency of Canada

Suggested Response:

  • Keeping people in Canada safe from threats to their health, and keeping our most vulnerable citizens safe and healthy, is a top priority of the Government of Canada
    • We continue to work with the Public Health Agency of Canada and suppliers to secure timely access to vaccines and other pharmaceuticals needed to prepare for a variety of public health threats, including monkeypox
    • Public Services and Procurement Canada already has procurements in place or underway for certain pharmaceuticals, allowing us to respond quickly to any new requirements, including monkeypox

If pressed on which vaccines and pharmaceuticals are being procured:

  • In support of ongoing Public Health Agency of Canada planning, Public Services and Procurement Canada is currently establishing a new contract and amending four existing contract for pharmaceuticals that could be used for monkeypox
  • This includes procurements for the vaccine Imvamune, which is approved by Health Canada for monkeypox. A new five year contract was awarded to Bavarian Nordic on June 6, 2022 this vaccine

If pressed on why an Advance Contract Award Notice was posted for a procurement of Imvamune prior to the monkeypox outbreak:

  • As part of routine procurement planning, Public Services and Procurement Canada was working to establish a contract to for smallpox vaccines to replace one that was due to expire. While this procurement was not undertaken to deal with monkeypox specifically, given that Imvamune has been approved by Health Canada for monkeypox, this procurement will be leveraged to deal with the monkeypox situation

Background:

The current outbreak of monkeypox has affected more than 20 countries internationally, including Canada. Monkeypox is typically transmitted from animals to humans. However, human-to-human transmission can result from direct contact with their body fluids, respiratory droplets, or monkeypox sores, or by sharing clothing, bedding or common items that have been contaminated with the infected person’s fluids or sores. Transmission via respiratory droplets usually requires prolonged face-to-face contact, which can put health care providers and household members of active cases at greater risk. To date, confirmed cases have been identified in both the Provinces of Quebec and Ontario.

Currently, there is no specific treatment approved for monkeypox, however, it is often self-limiting and symptoms usually resolve spontaneously within 14 to 21 days. Health Canada has authorized the vaccine Imvamune for active immunization against monkeypox, smallpox and related Orthopox virus infections and diseases in adults 18 years of age and older determined to be at high risk for exposure.

PSPC will continue to support procurement requirements identified by PHAC.

Additional Information:

None

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