01:46 GMT20 January 2021
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    TORONTO (Sputnik) - Canada has signed a deal to procure 26,000 doses of Eli Lilly's experimental coronavirus antibody treatment called bamlanivimab, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said during a press briefing on Tuesday.

    "Today, I can announce that we’ve signed a deal to secure up to 26,000 doses of a therapeutic drug from Eli Lilly, with options for thousands more," Trudeau said.

    The US Food and Drug Administration granted an emergency use authorization for Eli Lilly's coronavirus treatment at the start of November.

    ​Trudeau also took the time to address the anticipated vaccine rollout in Canada, which has been the subject of mixed messaging in recent days, with officials from varying levels of government projecting timelines about delivery.

    "It is premature to start circling dates on a calendar," Trudeau said, explaining that clinical trials are still ongoing, approvals have to be granted and a logistics plan has yet to be developed.

    Trudeau bemoaned the lack of vaccine production facilities in Canada, shuttered years ago amid critical funding shortages, but added that the coronavirus pandemic has exposed this liability, with other countries prioritizing their citizens ahead of exports abroad.

    As of Tuesday, Canadian authorities have reported nearly 340,000 coronavirus cases and more than 11,500 virus-related deaths. There are more than 56,000 active cases across Canada, according to the country’s public health agency.

    Justin Trudeau, treatment, coronavirus, COVID-19, Canada
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