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

Just Posted

Police officers and their dogs undergo training at the RCMP Police Dog Services training centre in Innisfail, Alta., on Wednesday, July 15, 2015. Mounties say they are searching for an armed and dangerous man near a provincial park in northern Alberta who is believed to have shot and killed a service dog during a police chase. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
RCMP search for armed man in northern Alberta after police dog shot and killed

Cpl. Deanna Fontaine says a police service dog named Jago was shot during the pursuit

Alberta now has 2,336 active cases of COVID-19, with 237 people in hospital, including 58 in intensive care. (Black Press file photo)
Red Deer down to 73 active cases of COVID-19, lowest since early November

The Central zone has 253 active cases of the virus

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

The federal government says it wants to ban most flavoured vaping products in a bid to reduce their appeal to youth. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Craig Mitchelldyer
Health Canada proposes ban on most vaping flavours it says appeal to youth

If implemented, the regulations would restrict all e-cigarette flavours except tobacco, mint and menthol

The Montreal Police logo is seen in Montreal on Wednesday, July 8, 2020. Some Quebec politicians are calling for an investigation after a video was released that appears to show a Montreal police officer with his leg on a young Black man’s neck during an arrest. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Probe called for after video appearing to show Montreal officer’s knee on Black youth’s neck

Politicians call for investigation after clip evokes memories of George Floyd incident

Thousands of protesters make their way through the downtown core during a Black Lives Matter protest in Ottawa, Friday June 5, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
MPs’ study of systemic racism in policing concludes RCMP needs new model

Chair of the House public safety committee says it’s time for a reckoning on ‘quasi-military’ structure

A case filled with packages of boneless chicken breasts is shown in a grocery store Sunday, May 10, 2020, in southeast Denver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-David Zalubowski
One million chickens euthanized during labour dispute at Quebec slaughterhouse

Premier says waste amounts to 13 per cent of the province’s chicken production thrown in the garbage

A section of the eastern slopes of the Canadian Rockies is seen west of Cochrane, Alta., Thursday, June 17, 2021. A joint federal-provincial review has denied an application for an open-pit coal mine in Alberta’s Rocky Mountains, saying its impacts on the environment and Indigenous rights aren’t worth the economic benefits it would bring. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Panel says Grassy Mountain coal mine in Alberta Rockies not in public interest

Public hearings on the project in southern Alberta’s Crowsnest Pass region were held last fall

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on Friday, February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
U.S. border restrictions to remain in place until at least July 21

Safety minister says Canada, U.S. extending restrictions on non-essential international travel

Most Read