Trudeau announces deals to make COVID-19 vaccine at home

Trudeau announces deals to make COVID-19 vaccine at home

Trudeau says the federal government has signed a memorandum of understanding with Novavax to start producing immunization doses at the US company's Royalmount facility in Montreal.

Trudeau highlighted the lab while announcing an agreement with Novavax to produce its COVID-19 vaccine at a National Research Council (NRC) facility that is under construction in Montreal.

Canada will begin home-growing COVID-19 vaccines from two different manufacturers by the end of this year.

According to Trudeau, Precision NanoSystems and Novavax will be manufacturing COVID-19, protein based vaccines in the future.

Canada has also invested another $173 million in Quebec's Medicago to push research on its vaccine and build a new production plant in Quebec. The Novavax vaccines that will be produced in Montreal are therefore not part of this plan, we conceded to the federal government.

However, efforts are underway to support vaccine production in Canada so that the country isn't as dependent on sources from overseas. Considering vaccine distribution to countries with less developed healthcare infrastructure, a combination of acceptable efficacy, good protection in high-risk groups, and ease of distribution by being more stable at lower temperatures, such as vaccines from AstraZeneca, Novavax, and J&J, will be equally important.

It could leave our domestic production era dawning in a world awash with vaccines and Canada with 76 million vials of surplus vaccine to be shipped straight from the factory to stockpiling in refrigerated warehouses.

"We will keep the measures in place for as long as needed to keep Canadians safe", said Trudeau.

The Novavax COVID-19 vaccine has demonstrated 89.3 per cent efficacy in a United Kingdom phase three trial and has shown to provide protection against the B117 variant, initially detected in the U.K, and the B1351 variant first identified in South Africa.

Novavax, Inc. (Nasdaq: NVAX) is a biotechnology company that promotes improved health globally through the discovery, development and commercialization of innovative vaccines to prevent serious infectious diseases.

She added even if the federal government was able to fix our production capacity when the Novavax vaccine is ready in the fall, it is unlikely to have a huge impact on local vaccine distribution right away.

Health authorities in Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia have identified both mutations, with 135 of the B.1.1.7 strain and 13 of the B.1.351 strain reported from coast to coast.

The 79,000 Pfizer doses started arriving Tuesday but the supply from Moderna is now at risk.

Today, Canada relies on imports for at least 85 per cent of the vaccines and other pharmaceuticals it uses.

Each province and territory will receive up to $2.5 million in funding from now up until March 2023.

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