Health officials sequence between five and 10 per cent of all samples that test positive for COVID-19 across Canada, says Natalie Prystajecky, head of the environmental microbiology program at the B.C. Centre for Disease Control's public health lab and a member of the Canadian COVID-19 Genomics Network.
The federal government has promised enough vaccine doses for all three territories to vaccinate 75 per cent of its eligible adult population.
Calling it "cautious good news", Canada's Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam said on Tuesday that national daily case counts of COVID-19 have declined over the past two to three weeks.
Last week Novavax submitted its candidate to Canadian regulators after the US -based company announced it was 89% effective in a British trial.
"Since the beginning of the pandemic, our top priority has been the health and safety of all Canadians, ” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau".
Talks to do that with Novavax fell apart at the 11th hour last fall, right before an initial agreement for Canada to buy 52 million doses of Novavax's vaccine was announced.
Democrats in Congress prepared to take the first steps toward fast-track passage of U.S. President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package - and without Republican support if necessary.
The commitment involves an investment of up to to $25.1 million to Precision NanoSystems Incorporated (PNI), a Vancouver-based biotechnology company, to expand our ability to produce ribonucleic acid vaccines and future genetic medicines in Canada.
Canada will begin home-growing COVID-19 vaccines from two different manufacturers by the end of this year. "These new variants out there are of real concern", he said, acknowledging exceptions for "compassionate or humanitarian" reasons. Novavax is conducting late-stage clinical trials for NVX-CoV2373, its vaccine candidate against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
The vaccine is made using technology that was developed at the NRC in the first place and then licensed to CanSino for use in an Ebola vaccine. Sanofi pumps out millions of doses of vaccine in Toronto for diseases like whooping cough, polio and tetanus, while GSK's Quebec plant is where Canada gets most of its annual flu vaccine.
There is also up to $14-million for Markham-based Edesa Biotech Inc.
The Novavax vaccine is now under review by Health Canada and, if approved, would eventually leave Canada less reliant on foreign production for the most sought-after product in the world.
Canada has signed its first deal to allow a foreign coronavirus vaccine to be manufactured domestically.
Meanwhile, the European Union plans to restrict export of the vaccine.
Today, Canada relies on imports for at least 85 per cent of the vaccines and other pharmaceuticals it uses.