Health Care

Domestic COVID-19 vaccine production to begin by end of year; Trudeau

Domestic COVID-19 vaccine production to begin by end of year; Trudeau”

Trudeau said with a $46-million investment, it will eventually produce up to 40-million doses a year.

The announcements could help Trudeau tamp down the political headache caused by Canada's skeletal vaccine production capacity.

Canada, under pressure over the slow pace of inoculations against COVID-19, has signed its first deal to allow a foreign vaccine to be manufactured domestically, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Tuesday.

Once production begins, Novavax could produce around two million doses a month.

With both European manufacturers Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna sending smaller deliveries of their COVID-19 vaccines to Canada this week, exacerbating the ongoing dose shortage nationwide, the move to become more self-reliant on vaccine manufacturing provides an eventual new avenue for domestic vaccine supply.

Last week Novavax submitted its candidate to Canadian regulators after the USA -based company announced it was 89% effective in a British trial.

The trial in the United Kingdom showed significant effectiveness against both the original virus behind COVID-19, and the variant known as B.1.17 that was first identified there. However, the trials that led to those vaccines being approved were completed before the variants had been identified.

Ontario's daily COVID-19 case count is lower than expected because of a data issue.

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Doses will be manufactured at a new National Research Council (NRC) facility in Montreal.

None of those talks have borne any fruit until now.

Canada is on track to getting everyone who wants the vaccine, vaccinated by September, he said, while announcing the production of the COVID-19 vaccine, which he called a "major step" forward in getting the vaccine made in Canada for Canadians.

"Canadians should know when things are going to get better", Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole said in a statement. "This is something that should have been secured a long time ago". PNI will build a $50.2 million biomanufacturing centre to produce vaccines and therapeutics for the prevention and treatment of diseases such as infectious diseases, rare diseases, cancer and other areas of unmet need.

Novavax scientists have been working on their vaccine since the beginning of the pandemic.

Trudeau promised the work on the facility would be done by the end of the year after missing the original completion date in the summer.

Officials say they believe they now have sufficient vaccine supply to provide second doses to everyone who has received their first dose. So far, approvals through the special COVID process have taken at least two months. But their plan, like that of Pfizer, Moderna, Novavax and Johnson and Johnson, does not involve making any of that vaccine in Canada.



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