Canada to spend $192M on developing COVID-19 vaccine

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday that Canada is spending $192 million on developing and producing vaccines for the new coronavirus.

He said being prepared to mass-produce a vaccine, no matter who creates it, will be essential for suppressing COVID-19 in Canada in the long run.

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“We’re investing in a long term solution to COVID-19 right here at home,” Trudeau said during Monday’s press briefing on the federal government’s response.

The prime minister announced a partnership with Vancouver-based company AbCellera, which will focus on drugs to prevent and treat COVID-19. The government is also partnering with Quebec-based Medicago for vaccine testing and production, Trudeau said.

Trudeau said the government is also providing funding for the University of Saskatchewan to help carry out development and clinical trials.

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“Once there are promising options, Canada needs the capacity to mass produce treatments as quickly as possible,” he said. “That’s why we’re investing in the National Research Council of Canada’s facility in Montreal to prepare for the rollout.”

Trudeau said these are “critical steps,” however, vaccines will take time to be available.

“They will take months to develop and test, so while that’s happening, we need to work to mitigate the impacts of this virus.”

— With files from The Canadian Press

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