Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Canada will be producing vaccines to battle COVID-19.
According to Trudeau, Precision NanoSystems and Novavax will be manufacturing COVID-19, protein based vaccines in the future.
“This is a major step forward to get vaccines made in Canada for Canadians,” Trudeau told reporters at a press conference outside of Rideau Hall.
The Novavax vaccine will eventually be manufactured at the National Research Council’s new Biologics Manufacturing Centre at its Royalmount site in Montreal.
The council received a $126 million investment in August 2020, and once construction is completed the facility will be capable of producing 24 million doses per year.
The feds say construction is on schedule and will be completed this summer.
Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry Francois-Philippe Champagne said once construction is complete the facility will need to be approved by Health Canada.
“So we expect by the end of the year to be in a position to be producing vaccines. We’re talking around 2 million doses a month,” Champagne said.
The vaccines will prove useful as the COVID-19 virus is expected to remain present world wide for some time.
The news of domestic vaccines comes as the European Union is threatening to limit the export of doses of the Pfizer vaccine which could further decrease Canada’s vaccine count.
Trudeau said he has verbal agreements with the EU not to limit Canada’s doses and he is confident Canada is still on schedule to receive the promised amount.
Canada currently has two vaccines approved for use by Health Canada. The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and Moderna vaccine were both approved in December, 2020.
So far 1.1M doses have been delivered to provinces and territories and 87 per cent of those doses have been administered.
According to Indigenous Services Canada as of January 29 of this year 299 Indigenous communities have begun vaccinations.
The Nunatsiavut Government has announced they will be administering second doses of the Moderna vaccine to all five of its Labrador Inuit communities next week starting February 8, 2021.