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Health Canada approves first clinical trial for possible coronavirus vaccine

The first Canadian clinical trials of a potential COVID-19 vaccine have been approved by Health Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says.
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The first Canadian clinical trials of a potential COVID-19 vaccine have been approved by Health Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says.

Speaking from Rideau Cottage on Saturday, he told reporters the vaccine trials will be conducted out of the Canadian Centre for Vaccinology at Dalhousie University.

“Research and development take time and must be done right,” he said. “But this is encouraging news.”

READ MORE: Canadian Red Cross to get $100M in federal funding amid coronavirus, Trudeau says

Trudeau added the National Research Council of Canada will be working with the drug’s manufacturers in order to produce and distribute them ” here at home” — if they’re successful.

Several other provinces have also joined the race for a COVID-19 vaccine.

On Thursday, Quebec biopharmaceutical company Medicago said in a press release they received “promising early results” from its COVID-19 test’s animal trials on mice.

In Ontario, University of Waterloo researchers are working on a nasal spray vaccine.

 

Last week, Health Canada announced the first authorized use COVID-19 serological tests — better known as antibody tests — in Canada.

In a statement released Tuesday, the agency said at least one million Canadian blood samples would be collected and tested over the next two years as the Canadian government tracks the virus in the general population and in specific groups at greater risk of having been infected, including health care workers and the elderly.

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam said serological tests will be rolled out as soon as quickly as possible.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Trudeau tight-lipped on possible support for Air Canada, other airlines

Trudeau also announced $100 million in federal funding for the Canadian Red Cross, which will be spent on the organization’s COVID-19 response, as well as natural disasters such as floods or wildfires.

“They’ve been playing a key role in supporting Canadians during this crisis, helping both individuals and communities with their most pressing needs,” he said.

The federal government will additionally be providing $15 million in funding for the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy Ecosystem Fund, which Trudeau said will support female entrepreneurs facing challenges during the pandemic.

More to come. 

- Global




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