Any vaccine manufacturing facility has to meet Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) standards and the NRC said they realized this fall the planned space would not meet those standards.
Conservative leader Erin O'Toole said sarcastically that he was certain Canadians would be thrilled to find they'll get the most doses two years from now. Under the terms of the agreements, Canada is slated to receive 194 million doses, with options to purchase an additional 220 million doses, Reza said.
The government itself suggested at the end of August that the Montreal plant would have the capacity to manufacture 250,000 doses of the vaccine per month by the end of November.
The approvals he is referencing are Health Canada approvals, which will be required before vaccine doses are doled out.
But we're nearly in December and there is no word of any domestically produced vaccine becoming available any time soon.
This comes as Health Canada says Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine candidate could be approved in Canada next month.
Trudeau has acknowledged that a vaccine will arrive in Canada sometime in the first quarter of 2021 but that other nations may start to inoculate their citizens before then.
"The issue of domestic vaccine manufacturing supply was identified as an issue after the H1N1 pandemic", she said.
"We are working with a number of partners including the Canadian military that as soon as vaccines arrive and are deemed safe, they will be distributed to Canadians", Trudeau said during a news conference in Ottawa.
Njoo pointed out that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines both use novel mRNA technology, meaning it would be hard for Canada to ramp up domestic production quickly. The U.K. did not place an order until earlier this month.
To date, Canada has final agreements with five vaccine manufacturers - Pfizer, Moderna, GlaxoSmithKline, Medicago and AstraZeneca - and is finalizing agreements with Johnson & Johnson and Novavax.
Dr. Paul Hodgson, associate director of the Saskatchewan facility, said they hope to have their manufacturing capacity ready late in 2021, but it is a complex process and bringing the equipment online takes time even once construction is complete. It will not be able to make mRNA vaccines like those from Moderna or Pfizer.
"That is why the government bought doses of so many potentially successful vaccines, and why it is reinvesting in domestic manufacturing".
Bains said the government has worked to change that and will do the same with vaccines.
"We're going to talk about vaccines and we're going to be explaining to Canadians in the coming days and weeks the plan that has been developed over many, many weeks and months with provinces and territories as to how we're going to quickly, safely and effectively vaccinate Canadians", LeBlanc told host Vassy Kapelos.
Trudeau did not answer that question directly, but government sources speaking on background said the vaccine contracts don't include a right to make them domestically, largely because the government would have had no place to make them.
"The manufacturing aspect maybe should have been a primary consideration, but it wouldn't have made any difference, because we have no manufacturing capacity for any of them".
"I think we can withstand being behind the Americans and the Germans".