Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Canada’s inability to manufacture vaccines in-house will delay distribution: Trudeau

First doses of COVID-19 vaccine expected in first few months of 2021, prime minister says

Canada will not be first in line for COVID-19 vaccines, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said during his morning briefing in front of Rideau Cottage on Tuesday (Nov. 24).

“We recognize the disadvantage Canada has of not having a domestic pharmaceutical industry capable of making the vaccines,” Trudeau said.

“We have secured tens of million of doses of many different kinds of vaccines.”

Canada has secured deals with all three vaccine candidates currently showing high efficacy in late stage trials: AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Moderna.

VIDEO: How do the leading COVID vaccines differ? And what does that mean for Canada?

“We’re expecting to start receiving those doses in the first few months of 2021,” Trudeau said, but noted that the citizens of the countries manufacturing the vaccines will likely get the first doses before they are shipped internationally.

Trudeau said that in the future, Canada would ramp up its own vaccine manufacturing “because we never want to be caught short again, without the ability to support Canadians directly.”

The federal government announced in August that it was contributing $120 million over two years to build a biomanufacturing facility in Montreal that includes the National Research Council.

During a separate news conference, Public Procurement Minister Anita Anand said Canada has signed contracts for more doses per capita than any country in the world and that efforts are now underway to prepare for their arrival in the next few months.

That involves buying 126 freezers, including 26 ultracold ones, to hold millions of doses of vaccines. Ottawa is also seeking private bidders to run the logistics and considering what role the military could play. The country also signed a deal with pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly for an initial order of up to 26,000 doses of their COVID-19 antibody therapy Bamlanivimab. The drug is a monoclonal antibody designed to block the virus from attaching to and entering human cells, thus potentially preventing the virus from causing COVID-19 illness. The treatment was developed in collaberation with with AbCellera Biologics, a Vancouver-based technology company that searches, decodes and analyzes natural immune systems to find antibodies that can be developed to prevent and treat disease.

Canada continued to see new COVID-19 cases and deaths, with more than 1,000 each from Ontario and Quebec. Last week saw more than 5,050 new cases nationwide each day, with about 2,000 people hospitalized each day with the virus. An average of 70 people died due to COVID-19 each day last week.

“There are more regions of the country with high infection rates,” Canada’s chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam said Tuesday.

“And it is clear that COVID-19 knows no bounds. Communities, jurisdictions and whole regions that were little, if at all, impacted in the past (are) now seeing community spread. Some areas are experiencing very high rates of infection for the first time.”

READ MORE: What do rising positivity rates mean for B.C.? It’s not entirely clear

– with files from The Canadian Press


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

CoronavirusJustin Trudeau

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Royal Roads University president Philip Steenkamp said they are aware of hateful graffiti spray-painted in an area of the forest surrounding the campus. The graffiti in question includes anti-Semitic content and a racial slur towards Black people. (Facebook/Royal Roads University)
Anti-Semitic, hateful graffiti spotted in forest near Royal Roads University

Royal Roads working with West Shore RCMP to remove graffiti “as soon as possible”

A cougar was spotted at Royal Roads University on Sunday, Jan. 24. The sighting was reported on the western edge of the campus. (File photo)
Cougar spotted at Royal Roads University Sunday afternoon

Animal reported on western side of campus near Langford Fire Department

Saanich-based St. Luke’s Players community theatre company has been making the most of their opportunities to keep busy during the pandemic, including staging a Christmastime panto of Alice in Wonderland on Zoom. (Courtesy St. Luke’s Players)
Saanich’s St. Luke’s Players: Bringing the stage to the people

Community theatre company holding online auditions Jan. 23-24 for March production

Frank Bourree was awarded the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce’s first Governors’ Award of Distinction for his leadership in the business community. (Courtesy of Frank Bourree)
Frank Bourree receives award of distinction from Victoria chamber

Award recognizes positive role model in business community

The Habitat for Humanity Meaning of Home contest is open to students in Grades 5 to 6. (Screenshot/Habitat for Humanity video)
Habitat for Humanity launches national writing contest

Entries accepted from students in Grades 4 to 6 until Feb. 19

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

A woman injects herself with crack cocaine at a supervised consumption site Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Drug users at greater risk of dying as services scale back in second wave of COVID-19

It pins the blame largely on a lack of supports, a corrupted drug supply

Wet’suwet’en supporters and Coastal GasLink opponents continue to protest outside the B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, February 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
‘We’re still in it’: Wet’suwet’en push forward on rights recognition

The 670-km Coastal GasLink pipeline was approved by B.C. and 20 elected First Nations councils on its path

The sky above Mt. Benson in Nanaimo is illuminated by flares as search and rescuers help an injured hiker down the mountain to a waiting ambulance. (Photo courtesy Nanaimo Search and Rescue)
Search plane lights up Nanaimo mountain with flares during icy rope rescue

Rescuers got injured hiker down Mt. Benson to a waiting ambulance Saturday night

Jennifer Cochrane, a Public Health Nurse with Prairie Mountain Health in Virden, administers the COVID-19 vaccine to Robert Farquhar with Westman Regional Laboratory, during the first day of immunizations at the Brandon COVID-19 vaccination supersite in Brandon, Man., on Monday, January 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tim Smith - POOL
Top doctor urges Canadians to keep up with COVID measures, even as vaccines roll out

More than 776,606 vaccines have been administered so far

From the left: Midway RCMP Csts. Jonathan Stermscheg and Chris Hansen, Public Servant Leanne Mclaren and Cpl. Phil Peters. Pictured in the front are Mclaren’s dog, Lincoln and Peters’ dog, Angel. Photo courtesy of BC RCMP
B.C. Mounties commended for bringing firewood to elderly woman

Cpl. Phil Peters said he and detachment members acted after the woman’s husband went to hospital

Dr. Jerome Leis and Dr. Lynfa Stroud are pictured at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto on Thursday, January 21, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
‘It wasn’t called COVID at the time:’ One year since Canada’s first COVID-19 case

The 56-year-old man was admitted to Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

An Uber driver’s vehicle is seen after the company launched service, in Vancouver, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. Several taxi companies have lost a court bid to run Uber and Lyft off the road in British Columbia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Taxi companies lose court bid to quash Uber, Lyft approvals in British Columbia

Uber said in a statement that the ruling of the justice is clear and speaks for itself

Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. (News Bulletin file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak declared at Nanaimo hospital

Two staff members and one patient have tested positive, all on the same floor

Most Read