Earlier on during the pandemic, Halifax-based Canadian Centre for Vaccinology, associated with Dalhousie University, was front and center in the war against COVID-19 in Canada, preparing for major vaccine research in conjunction with CanSino Biologics. That deal fell apart when the investigational product was never allowed by Chinese customs to depart that country for Canada. A great disappointment, as it would appear the action was politically motivated. However, now it would appear a fresh start comes for the Nova Scotia-based research effort as a federal infrastructure grant will enable the research facility to move up to a higher certification level for containing pathogens. The COVID-19 collaboration undertaken at the center involves a collaboration between Dalhousie University, the IWK Health Centre and the QEII Health Sciences Centre. The IWK Health Centre-based facility has been awarded $1.2 million.
Dr. Scott Halperin directs the research at the center and reports that although it’s not a huge amount of money it will support mission-critical upgrades thereby allowing the group to work directly with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the pathogen behind COVID-19. Dr. Halperin was quoted in a recent article in CBC that “We haven’t been able to work with the virus itself.” Dr. Halperin continued, “This allows us to have much more flexibility here in order to do the full range of research on the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which we weren’t able to do before.”
Call to Action: The Canadian Centre for Vaccinology can be contacted here.