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Vaccinations continue in long-term care as Feds announce production deal

February 4, 2021   ·   0 Comments

Vaccinations are continuing in Ontario long-term care homes and within northern fly-in communities as the Federal Government outlines details of a deal to produce doses of the COVID-19 vaccine domestically.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Tuesday a memorandum of understanding had been signed with Novavax with an aim to producing its COVID-19 vaccine at the National Research Council’s Montreal-based Biologics Manufacturing Centre.

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, our top priority has been the health and safety of all Canadians,” said Trudeau in a statement. “Today, we are investing in our biomanufacturing capacity so that we have the made-in-Canada vaccines and treatments we need to protect Canadians, now and in the future, and recover from the impacts of COVID-19.”

Added Francois-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry: “Our government is bringing back the vaccine manufacturing capacity that Canadians expect and need. These investments will help to ensure that Canada has modern, flexible vaccine manufacturing capabilities now and in the future. With the investments announced today, our government is helping Canadian companies advance made-in-Canada vaccines and therapies, while securing domestic manufacturing options for international vaccine candidates. This is all part of our government’s commitment to protect the health and safety of all Canadians today, and in the future.”

Additional Federal investments announced this week include up to $25.1 million to Vancouver’s Precision NanoSystems Incorporated to expand the company’s ability to produce ribonucleic acid vaccines in Canada and help the company build a $50.2 million biomanufacturing centre to produce vaccines and therapeutics for the prevention and treatment of diseases; an additional investment of up to $14 million has been allocated for Edesa Biotech Inc. of Markham to work on antibody therapies for acute respiratory distress syndrome, the leading cause of COVID-19 deaths.

Last week, the Province developed a plan to speed up vaccine distributions to the Province’s most vulnerable populations “with the goal of visiting each long-term care, high-risk retirement and First Nations elder care home by February 5. Delivery delays of the Moderna vaccine, however, forced these goal posts to be moved.

“The Province’s initial approach was to offer vaccination to all residents, staff and essential caregivers working at long-term care and high-risk retirement homes to provide the opportunity for best overall protection,” said the Province in a statement. “In response to the reduction in vaccine supply, the province prioritized the vaccination of residents of long-term care, high-risk retirement and First Nations elder care homes. The province is expecting approximately 310,000 doses to be delivered in the remaining weeks of February. Once sufficient doses are available, vaccinations will resume to provide first doses for staff and essential caregivers in settings with the most vulnerable populations.

Added Health Minister Christine Elliott: “Despite limited supplies from the federal government, our government has taken decisive action to provide protection to our most vulnerable seniors as quickly as possible. Until everyone can receive the vaccine, it remains critical that Ontarians stay home and continue to follow public health measures to stop the spread and save lives.”

As of Tuesday, February 2, New Tecumseth has seen a total of 724 cases of COVID-19, 599 of which are now marked as recovered. Two cases remain in hospital and there have been 15 fatalities.

Since Wednesday, January 27, the community has seen 13 new cases of COVID-19. Nine of these cases are related to community spread or close contact, three attributed to active outbreaks, and one case remains under investigation.

By Brock Weir


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