Vaccine researchers get federal and provincial money

Saskatchewan researchers are getting some financial help in their efforts to find a vaccine to stop the COVID-19 virus.

On Wednesday, the province announced that the government of Saskatchewan and the Federal government have committed $28 million, which will go to Saskatoon researchers to find a vaccine for COVID-19. 

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Funding goes towards the University of Saskatchewan’s Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization – International Vaccine Centre. According to the province’s news release, scientists there were the first in Canada to isolate the virus that causes COVID-19, in collaboration with the Public Health Agency of Canada and a research facility in Toronto. 

They should know whether the vaccine works in an animal model by the middle of April. 

“This funding helps fast track vaccine development for emerging infections including COVID-19,” VIDO-InterVac Director and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Volker Gerdts said in a news release.  “We very much appreciate the Government of Saskatchewan and the Federal Government’s continued support of our research and development efforts in these challenging times.”

“Saskatchewan is leading the global effort to find a vaccine and we are providing our researchers with additional support to continue and to share their life-saving work with Canadians and people around the world,” said the minister responsible for Innovation Saskatchewan, Tina Beaudry-Mellor, in a statement.

“The Government of Canada is committed to protecting the health and safety of Canadians,” said Navdeep Bains, the federal Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, in a statement.  “We are all in this together: Canada is benefiting from the impressive and innovative power of our researchers at Saskatoon’s VIDO-InterVac in our national approach to fight COVID-19.   Together, we are rapidly scaling-up our capacity in research and in manufacturing to combat this pandemic.”

 

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