The Prime Minister Makes Statement on Rapid Testing for COVID-19
On October 23rd, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivered remarks on rapid testing and funding to advance the development of Canadian COVID-19 vaccine technologies. View the video of his statement below, or view the text transcript here.
Upcoming StatsCan Data
StatsCan announced that it will release its monthly estimate of business openings and closures for July 2020 on Wednesday, October 28th. StatsCan reported a total of 56,296 business closures in the month of June – which was an improvement from May but still 44% higher than in February before rising of COVID-19. Additionally, the agency its GDP figures for August on Friday, October 30th. In prior announcements, StatsCan revealed that real GDP grew by 3% in July, which was aligned with the agency’s estimate and followed a 6.5% growth in June.
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The Government of Canada Announces Another Contract for Promising COVID-19 Vaccine
During Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s bi-weekly pandemic briefing in Ottawa on Friday, October 23rd, he announced that the Government of Canada has added an additional contract to purchase a COVID-19 vaccine. As detailed by CBC:
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau today announced another contract to buy a promising COVID-19 vaccine now in development — part of a plan to secure millions of vaccine doses to inoculate Canadians from the novel coronavirus.
Trudeau said the government has signed a contract to procure 76 million doses from the Quebec City-biotech company Medicago.
Medicago is developing the vaccine in partnership with the British drug company GlaxoSmithKline. The two companies have said its pre-clinical results show the vaccine demonstrated a « high level of neutralizing antibodies following a single dose. »
If the vaccine also performs well in a clinical setting, the companies are on track to make it available in the first half of 2021. Medicago has said it has the manufacturing capacity to produce as many as 100 million doses in 2021.
The federal government is spending $173 million to help Medicago develop the vaccine and build a large plant in Quebec to produce it. Trudeau also announced an $18.2 million investment in Vancouver-based Precision NanoSystems, which offers technology to produce vaccines and therapeutic drugs.
Canada already has signed six other contracts for tens of millions more vaccine doses with other pharmaceutical giants, such as AstraZeneca, Moderna, and Pfizer. All told, the federal government has secured 358 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine — an insurance policy if some of the vaccines in development prove to be ineffective in clinical trials.
While the coronavirus continues to spread quickly, it is important to remember that only a small percentage of patients need special treatment to recover. Trusted health experts continue to emphasize that the general population shouldn’t panic and should instead focus on practicing proper hygiene, such as hand-washing and refraining from touching the facial area.
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