Canada health official says ‘no’ to Russian COVID-19 vaccine

Ottawa: The Russian novel coronavirus vaccine will likely not be approved in Canada at this time, Deputy Chief Public Health Officer Howard Njoo told reporters on Tuesday, citing lack of data.

Coronavirus vaccine

Earlier in the day, President Vladimir Putin announced that Russia became the first country in the world to register a novel coronavirus vaccine.

“No, I do not think so. Far too much information is missing,” Njoo said regarding the possibility Canada may approve the Russian vaccine.

Njoo said he found the approval of the vaccine in Russia “surprising” given the testing timelines – from initial discovery to approval – that Canadian scientists and experts use.

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Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr Theresa Tam said the developments to produce a vaccine are exciting and she continues to work with counterparts abroad.

500 million in 12 months

Russian officials said the country is capable of producing 500 million doses of the vaccine in the next 12 months, with production expected to be conducted abroad as well and clinical trials set to start soon in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and the Philippines.

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