For Immediate Release
Government of Canada announces funding to enhance influenza vaccine research and development
May 1, 2015 Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Public Health Agency of Canada
Today, on behalf of the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health, Brad Trost, Member of Parliament for Saskatoon-Humboldt, announced close to $1 million in funding to support influenza vaccine research in Canada. Mr. Trost was joined by Andrew Potter, CEO and Director of the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization-International Vaccine Centre (VIDO-InterVac), and Karen Chad, Vice-President of Research at the University of Saskatchewan.
The funding is being provided to VIDO-InterVac, a world leading vaccine research and development centre at the University of Saskatchewan.. As part of the funding, scientists at VIDO-InterVac will undertake important work on vaccine research priorities, in particular to strengthen influenza vaccine development in Canada.
Influenza is a serious concern to public health. Every year in Canada, millions get sick from influenza and it is estimated that 12,200 people are hospitalized, and about 3,500 die. As influenza viruses continually change over time, advanced vaccine research is critically important to ensure Canada has the ability to rapidly develop effective vaccines to combat these ever changing viruses.
Today’s investment will enhance Canada’s capacity to develop innovative influenza vaccines to better protect the health of Canadians and ensure Canada is better prepared to respond to future pandemics.
• The Government of Canada is providing a grant of $997,475 over five years to VIDO-InterVac to support important influenza vaccine research and development.
• For the past 40 years, VIDO-InterVac has established itself as one of the world’s foremost research and development centres for new vaccine technologies for both humans and animals.
• Research outputs resulting from the VIDO-InterVac grant funding are expected to support innovation in relation to influenza vaccines and vaccine administration and generate insights that strengthen influenza and pandemic preparedness and response.
“Our Government is proud to invest in strengthening influenza vaccine research and development to help protect Canadians. This funding will enhance Canada’s capacity to respond to any future pandemics, prevent the spread of disease and save lives. We can all be very proud of the contributions made by researchers here in Canada who help protect our health and safety.
Member of Parliament, Saskatoon-Humboldt
“This funding will help solidify VIDO-InterVac as a world-leading centre of vaccine expertise and help our scientists conduct important new influenza research that will directly contribute to better public health in Canada.”
Dr. Andrew Potter
CEO and Director, VIDO-InterVac
“Broadening collaboration between academia, industry and government in the field of vaccine development and research is vital to effectively combat influenza. Today’s investment will enhance important collaborations and generate important new research that will benefit all Canadians.”
Dr. Karen Chad
Vice President of Research, University of Saskatchewan
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Office of the Honourable Rona Ambrose
Federal Minister of Health
Public Health Agency of Canada