Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is trying to offer Canadians modest hope about progress in testing and vaccine development after Canada notched an all-time high of new COVID-19 cases in a day.
Trudeau told a news conference today that the government is spending $214 million towards the development of COVID-19 vaccines, signing deals with Quebec’s Medicago and British Columbia’s Precision NanoSystems.
Trudeau says the Medicago contract includes the rights to buy 76 million doses of its vaccine, should it meet health and safety standards, as well as funding for a production facility in Quebec City.
Two more American vaccine makers, Moderna and Pfizer, have asked Health Canada to review their products as they undergo clinical trials.
However, Trudeau warns that he doesn’t anticipate a vaccine will be ready to inoculate Canadians against the COVID-19 virus this year or in early 2021.
The prime minister says Canada has also acquired “hundreds of thousands” of rapid test kits from medical company Abbott to be distributed across the provinces and territories.