Canada To Get Covid-19 Vaccine Later Than Other Countries

Canadians may have to wait for a Covid-19 vaccine.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said that other nations are likely to receive a Covid-19 vaccine and begin inoculating their citizens before Canada.

"One of the things to remember is Canada no longer has any domestic production capacity for vaccines," Trudeau said during a news conference outside his home in Ottawa. “We used to have it decades ago, but we no longer have it. Countries like the United States, Germany and the U.K. do have domestic pharmaceutical facilities, which is why they're obviously going to prioritize helping their citizens first."

The federal government has signed orders for millions of doses of Covid-19 vaccines from a variety of foreign pharmaceutical companies, and Canada has been pushing the international community to ensure equal access for all, said Trudeau. The expectation is that doses will start to arrive in Canada in the first few months of 2021, he added.

The federal government has begun to invest in ensuring that Canada will again have domestic vaccine production capacity. In August it was announced that Ottawa would contribute $120 million over two years to build a biomanufacturing facility in Montreal that includes the National Research Council.

Ottawa previously committed $23 million to Saskatoon's VIDO-InterVac operations in March and pledged $175 million to Vancouver-based AbCellera Biologics in May to boost its research and production capabilities.