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VIDO-InterVac researchers are working on prototype vaccines to combat the new coronavirus outbreak. (Photo: Gord Waldner)

Saskatchewan government invests $3.6M in USask COVID-19 vaccine research

The Government of Saskatchewan has announced $3.6 million in new funding for the University of Saskatchewan’s (USask) Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization – International Vaccine Centre (VIDO-InterVac), one of the world’s most advanced infectious disease labs and a leader in global efforts to find a COVID-19 vaccine.

The announcement comes on the heels of $23.3 million announced March 23 by the federal government for VIDO-InterVac—$12 million to help address Canada’s shortage of vaccine manufacturing capacity and $11.3 million for continued operational funding for the high containment laboratories over the coming year.

“The Saskatchewan government and the federal government have worked together to provide this very significant boost to our vaccine research efforts at this critical time, and we’re very grateful for their combined investment that will help fast track vaccine development for emerging infections including COVID-19,” said USask Vice-President of Research Karen Chad.

“This cutting-edge work on the front lines of combatting the COVID-19 pandemic will help protect the health and safety of all Canadians, as well as people around the world.”

The funding for VIDO-InterVac’s cutting-edge vaccine research is in addition to $200,000 for the centre’s COVID-19 research announced recently by Innovation Saskatchewan and in addition to the $400,000 allocated in the recent provincial budget for VIDO-InterVac’s vaccine manufacturing facility.

Tina Beaudry-Mellor, Saskatchewan’s Minister Responsible for Innovation Saskatchewan, said the new funding will “provide our researchers with additional support to continue and to share their life-saving work with Canadians and people around the world.”

VIDO-InterVac is the first lab in the country to isolate the virus and the first in the country to have a vaccine candidate in animal testing.

As part of the national and global response to emerging disease threats such COVID-19 in humans and African Swine Fever in animals, the centre is constructing a pilot-scale manufacturing facility on USask campus to accelerate vaccine development in Canada and abroad. Read the Saskatchewan government release here: http://saskatchewan.ca/news

 

The University of Saskatchewan is undertaking critical research and contributing to global efforts to combat COVID-19. The University of Saskatchewan's Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO-InterVac) is a world leader in developing vaccines and technologies to combat infectious diseases. Your support of the COVID-19 Research Fund supports the increased efforts of researchers at the University of Saskatchewan to develop vaccines and treatments for COVID-19. Donate now.

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