The facade of Moderna, Inc. headquarters is seen, Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020, in Cambridge, Mass. U.S. biotech firm Moderna says its COVID-19 vaccine can now be shipped locally without requiring it to be frozen at all. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Elise Amendola

The facade of Moderna, Inc. headquarters is seen, Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020, in Cambridge, Mass. U.S. biotech firm Moderna says its COVID-19 vaccine can now be shipped locally without requiring it to be frozen at all. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Elise Amendola

Feds to invest $9 million in COVID treatments as vaccine rollout ramps up

National Research Council of Canada funds will be used to develop treatments to fight COVID-19

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the federal government is spending about $9 million toward research into treatments for COVID-19 as authorities work to deploy hundreds of thousands of vaccines in coming weeks.

Trudeau says the investment through the National Research Council of Canada will be used to develop treatments to fight COVID-19 and other viral infections.

He says the funding will go to four Canadian companies working on treatment candidates, including two in Montreal and two in Vancouver.

Trudeau also announced that Canada is set to receive 125,000 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech per week in January, for a total of 500,000 doses next month.

He says his government has secured agreements for up to 417,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines to arrive ahead of schedule, including more than 200,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine next week.

Pending Health Canada approval, he says 168,000 doses of Moderna’s vaccine candidate are scheduled to be shipped by the end of the month.

The Massachusetts-based biotech firm says its COVID-19 vaccine can now be shipped locally without it needing to be frozen at all.

The messenger RNA vaccine from Moderna is on the verge of being authorized for use in Canada and could be approved for use in the United States as early as today.

Until now, it was believed the vaccine had to remain frozen to at least -20 C until shortly before use, but the company says it can now safely transport liquid doses as refrigerated at between 2 C and 8 C.

A Moderna spokeswoman says this makes the logistics easier of getting the vaccine to remote locations.

Moderna was already considered less risky to ship than a similar vaccine from Pfizer-BioNTech, which must be kept frozen between -60 C and -80 C, and Canada is planning to send it to the territories, remote Indigenous communities and for use at long-term care homes.

Health Canada’s review team is still waiting for final data on Moderna’s manufacturing process before making its decision but the company plans to start shipping the first doses within 48 hours of getting the green light.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

FILE – A COVID-19 vaccine being prepared. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
B.C. seniors 80 years and older to get COVID vaccine details over next 2 weeks: Henry

Province is expanding vaccine workforce as officials ramp up age-based rollout

The avalanche came down on the highway sometime Sunday evening (Feb. 21) (Dawson photo)
Road to Bella Coola wharf reopens after large avalanche

The road was closed after a large avalanche covered a significant portion of the highway

Jenni Mueller lives near the wharf on the other side of the avalanche. She took this photo and thinks the avalanche happened around 8 p.m. last night (February 21). (Jenni Mueller photo)
Avalanche closes road to wharf at Bella Coola

A day and night of heavy rain resulted in avalanches across the region

Fisheries and Oceans Canada released it's 2021 Pacific Herring Integrated Fisheries Management Plan Feb. 19. (File photo)
Northern herring opportunities kept to a minimum

2021 management plan caps Prince Rupert fishery at 5 per cent

Williams Lake First Nation government staff are anticipated to return to work Monday, Jan. 25. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
Court orders new hearing over Williams Lake First Nation’s century-old land dispute

A three-judge panel unanimously set aside a 2018 finding by the Specific Claims Tribunal

Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
456 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., 2 deaths

Since January 2020, 78,278 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in B.C.

“Support your city” reads a piece of graffiti outside the Ministry of Finance office. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Slew of anti-bylaw graffiti ‘unacceptable’ says Victoria mayor, police

Downtown businesses, bylaw office and Ministry of Finance vandalized Wednesday morning

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

The late Michael Gregory, 57, is accused of sexually exploiting six junior high students between 1999 and 2005. (Pixabay)
Former Alberta teacher accused of sexually assaulting students found dead in B.C.

Mounties say Michael Gregory’s death has been deemed ‘non-suspicious’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

According to a new poll, a majority of Canadians want to see illicit drugs decriminalized. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Majority of Canadians think it’s high time to decriminalize illicit drugs: poll

More than two-times the B.C. residents know someone who died from an overdose compared to rest of Canada

Photograph By @KAYLAXANDERSON
VIDEO: Lynx grabs lunch in Kamloops

A lynx surprises a group of ducks and picks one off for lunch

(Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. residents can reserve provincial camp sites starting March 8

B.C. residents get priority access to camping reservations in province

Most Read