OTTAWA -- The federal government is partnering with two multinational corporations to secure COVID-19 vaccine doses in an effort to position Canada in a competitive position in the global hunt for coronavirus therapies.

Procurement Minister Anita Anand said biopharmaceutical and biotechnology giants Pfizer and Moderna will help secure "millions of doses of COVID-19 vaccine candidates."

"Pfizer is evaluating at least four experimental vaccine candidates and is currently undergoing clinical trials. These trials are occurring in various countries including Germany and the United States and they’re already exhibiting promising results," said Anand during a press conference in Toronto on Wednesday.

There are currently 55 potential COVID-19 drugs, including vaccine candidates, that are currently being investigated in clinical trials authorized by Health Canada.

To be approved for use, any potential vaccine must move through a well-established testing process that involves three phases of human trials. The first and second phases focus on monitoring whether the drug produces the desired response from the human immune system. The third phase involves far more test subjects and aims to determine whether the vaccine candidate is actually able to stop the virus from infecting a body.

With files from CTV News’ Rachel Aiello and Ryan Flanagan