Health Canada approves first clinical trial for potential COVID-19 vaccine

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      This morning, the prime minister announced that the Canadian Center for Vaccinology at Dalhousie University will evaluate a potential vaccine for the novel coronavirus.

      "The National Research Council of Canada will be working with the manufacturers so that if these vaccine trials are successful, we can produce and distribute it here at home," Trudeau said. "Research and development takes time and must be done right, but this is encouraging news."

      This comes after Health Canada approved clinical trials.

      "Vaccines are complex biologics made from living organisms," the CCV's website states. "Vaccines to prevent disease work by exposing the immune system to a tiny amount of pathogen (disease-causing organism) such as a virus, bacteria or parasite that has been damaged or killed so it cannot cause disease.

      "This exposure teaches the immune system to defend itself against the pathogen by creating an immune response."

      The Clinical Trials Research Center is a division within the organization.

      On May 12, the National Research Council announced that it will work with the University of Saskatchewan's Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization-International Vaccine Centre.

      This would be "to accelerate the development and production of a candidate COVID-19 antigen in mammalian cells", according to a news release.

      "VIDO-InterVac has identified a recombinant protein antigen that will serve a primary part of a vaccine candidate against COVID-19," the NRC stated.

      It's already being used in animal studies.

      As of May 16 at 8 a.m. Pacific time, there have been 74,993 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Canada. The Canadian death toll has reached 5,595.

      Leading the country in confirmed cases is Quebec with 41420, followed by Ontario at 22,313, Alberta at 6,515, and British Columbia at 2,407.