Another potential COVID-19 vaccine – a made in Saskatchewan product – took a major step forward with news that pre-clinical trials have generated favorable results.
The work is being done by the VIDO InterVac team at the University of Saskatchewan. Working with domestic and international partners, to develop the vaccine, InterVac’s round of testing on ferrets showed the animals were a strong immune response, building antibodies with virtually no respiratory problems.
So now the team – which is supported by federal and provincial money as well as the Bill and Melina Gates Foundation – will begin moving to the next stage hopes to have human testing underway this fall.
But another big angle on this story is a plan to build manufacturing capacity to produce large volumes of vaccines. This will be a critical element in the fight against COVID-19.
If Canada develops an effective vaccine we will need somewhere to make enough product to vaccinate the entire population. If we can’t, we’ll be relying on foreign suppliers which has already proven to be dicey in the supply of PPE or protective equipment.