INTERNATIONAL NEWS - Canadians can expect the first doses of a Covid-19 vaccine in early 2021, likely later than those countries that can produce it themselves, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday.
"Canada no longer has any domestic production capacity for vaccines," Trudeau told a news conference.
"We used to have it decades ago, but we no longer have it," he said, while "countries like the United States, Germany and the UK do have domestic pharmaceutical facilities, which is why they're obviously going to prioritise helping their citizens first."
Trudeau added, "we've begun to invest once again in ensuring that Canada will have domestic vaccine production capacity."
In case of another pandemic in the coming years, he said "we never want to be caught short again, without the ability to support Canadians directly."
The number of Covid-19 cases in Canada topped 340,000 on Tuesday, including 11,500 deaths.
The federal government has contracted with several pharmaceutical companies - including AstraZeneca, Pfizer and BioNTech, Sanofi and GSK, Novavax, Johnson & Johnson, Medicago and Moderna - for more than 300 million vaccine doses, for its population of 38 million.
"We're working ahead of their deliveries to ensure their safety and efficacy, and Health Canada is currently analysing all data provided by the companies," Trudeau commented.