Vaccine developer to set up shop at new Montreal facility, says PM

Novavax doses to be made in Canada

The Ontario government has once again moved its target date for administering first doses of COVID-19 vaccines to residents in each long-term care, high-risk retirement and First Nations elder care home.

Saskatchewan says it has found two cases of a COVID-19 variant. NVX-CoV2373 is now being evaluated in two pivotal Phase 3 trials: a trial in the U.K that demonstrated 89.3 percent overall efficacy and 95.6 percent against the original strain in a post-hoc analysis, and the PREVENT-19 trial in the USA and Mexico that began in December.

South Africa will get 2 million doses of vaccines from the COVAX vaccine distribution scheme co-led by the World Health Organization by March.

The country's top doctor says that provincial officials should be very cautious about relaxing safety measures, as the United Kingdom and South African strains are highly contagious.

But Novavax's vaccine is likely at least two months away from being approved in Canada, while the NRC facility is still under construction and created to produce only about two million doses a month.

As of January 29th, there were 55,313 active cases across the country, and over the last week (from January 22nd-28th) an average of 4,192 people with COVID-19 were being treated in Canadian hospitals each day.

It says shipments are set to return almost to previously expected levels starting February 15.

"Since the beginning of the pandemic, our top priority has been the health and safety of all Canadians, ” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau".

While unveiling a deal with a USA pharmaceutical firm to produce doses of its vaccine at a Montreal facility, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also highlighted how work underway at a Saskatoon research lab would increase Canada's domestic vaccine production capability.

The decrease in supply of the Moderna vaccine is in addition to further reductions in Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine shipments from the federal government, which resulted in no deliveries for the week of January 25, and a reduced shipment of just over 26,000 doses for the first week of February. The memorandum of understanding also includes a broader intention for the Government of Canada and Novavax to work together to increase the company’s Canadian presence.

Trudeau also says the government is investing $25 million in Vancouver-based Precision NanoSystems to build a manufacturing centre, with the ultimate goal of producing up to 240 million vaccine doses per year.

The numbers come ahead of an evening news conference during which Premier François Legault is expected to ease restrictions across the province.

Canada has so far reported a total of 783,589 cases and 20,136 deaths as a second wave of the disease sweeps the country.