Canada took a strategic step forward last week, no longer having to rely on foreign manufacturers to provide vaccines in the event of another pandemic.
The arrival of COVID-19 brought with it a stark realization that Canada had allowed the closure of sophisticated vaccine manufacturers as suppliers relocated to other jurisdictions. The COVID-19 outbreak meant we had to persuade companies to put us at the top of the list when they had similar demands from their host nations.
We now have a sunnier story to tell about this situation with the completion of a manufacturing facility at Saskatoon’s Vaccine Infectious Disease Organization. Part of the USask, VIDO is home to some of the country’s best scientists who focus on things like pandemics and viruses. When COVID-19 broke out, they were global leaders with vaccine candidates but no ability for mass production so their progress was slowed.
This new plant has capacity for 40 million doses annually – enough to give every Canadian a shot should the need arise. And it puts Saskatoon a step closer to being designated Canada’s Pandemic Research Centre.