Failed deal with China delayed made-in-Canada COVID-19 vaccine plans – CBC

Officials wasted months, spent millions on a lab that never produced a single shot

Oct 14, 2021

The federal government’s failed collaboration with a vaccine manufacturing company in China early in the pandemic has led to a delay of nearly two years in efforts to create a made-in-Canada COVID-19 vaccine.

Government documents obtained by The Fifth Estate show that Canadian officials wasted months waiting for a proposed vaccine to arrive from China for further testing and spent millions upgrading a production facility that never made a single dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) signed an agreement with Tianjin-based CanSino Biologics in early May 2020 to “fast-track the availability of a COVID-19 vaccine in Canada for emergency pandemic use.”

The CanSino vaccine, which had been created by the scientific research arm of China’s military, was to be shipped to Canada for human trials that May. If successful, the vaccine was to be manufactured at a temporary facility in Montreal that the NRC had committed $44 million to upgrade.

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