Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed the official approval of the first clinical trial for a potential Coronavirus vaccine. The prime minister made the announcement at his press conference in Ottawa, Saturday (May 16).
Trudeau revealed that Health Canada has given its approval to the Canadian Center for Vaccinology at Dalhousie University and has asked them to begin the clinical trials of the vaccine candidate.
“If these vaccine trials are successful we could produce and distribute it here at home,” the prime minister said. “Research and development take time, and must be done right, but this is encouraging news,” he added.
The news came following the reports of 1,253 new confirmed cases of coronavirus in Canada and 117 new deaths on Saturday, which increased the national death toll to 5,679. Until now, more than 1.3 million Canadians have been tested positive for the virus and 32,368 cases are still active, which makes it important to have a vaccine available very soon to control the situation.
The Canadian prime minister, at the press conference, also stated that the National Research Council of Canada will collaborate with the manufacturers of the potential vaccine to produce it domestically to see if the trials are successful. On May 12, the National Research Council of Canada announced to associate with CanSino Biologics to proceed with the bioprocessing and clinical development procedures in Canada relating to the candidate vaccine to fight back the virus.
The Ad5-nCoV, as the candidate vaccine is referred to, has been developed using the technology from Canada’s CanSino Biologics Inc as well as China’s Beijing Institute of Biotechnology, or BIB. It has been produced using a genetically engineered replication-defective adenovirus type 5 vector.
According to the latest reports, Health Canada has authorized 33 clinical trials to make sure supportive care and treatments are well-handled for the coronavirus cases reported to date.
Meanwhile, it has been found that hundreds of healthy volunteers from Canada are ready to be infected with COVID-19 for “human challenge trial” to make sure a vaccine is available soon for the treatment of the infection. Researchers, on the other hand, expect that it will take at least a year to figure out if a vaccine injected in the infected ones is effective enough or not.