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Canada-China COVID-19 vaccine trials abandoned: NRC – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News

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Keith Doucette, The Canadian Press


Published Thursday, August 27, 2020 3:09PM EDT


Last Updated Thursday, August 27, 2020 4:17PM EDT

HALIFAX – A COVID-19 vaccine-development partnership between Canada and a Chinese firm has been abandoned, ending clinical trials that were to be conducted by a Dalhousie University research lab.

The National Research Council of Canada said Thursday the CanSino Biologics vaccine intended for phase one clinical trials has not been approved by Chinese customs for shipment to Canada.

“Due to the delay in the shipment of the vaccine doses to Canada it is evident this specific opportunity is over and the NRC is focusing its team and facilities on other partners and COVID-19 priorities,” the agency said in a statement.

Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne downplayed suggestions the vaccine partnership failed because of ongoing political tensions between the two countries.

“I don’t necessarily think so,” Champagne told reporters Thursday. “I can only speak for the Canadian side. I would not necessarily link whether that particular opportunity is linked to anything else.”

Relations have been sour since the Chinese detained Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor in apparent retaliation for the RCMP’s arrest of Chinese high-tech executive Meng Wanzhou on an American extradition warrant in December 2018.

Despite the tensions, Champagne said “we have issues in terms of global health where we can work together.”

The Canadian Centre for Vaccinology at Dalhousie University was supposed to conduct the trials through a partnership with the NRC and CanSino Biologics. Dalhousie’s lab had been ready to start clinical trials as early as June, the NRC said, after Health Canada approved CanSino’s proposal.

The Halifax lab was one of several in Canada and in the U.S. whose work in 2014 led to an Ebola vaccine that was used in West Africa.

Dr. Scott Halperin, the director of the Canadian Centre for Vaccinology, said it was disappointing the CanSino project won’t be going ahead.

“The CanSino vaccine is one of the most furthest along of any of the candidate vaccines so it would have been nice to do that study,” Halperin said. “It’s not the only vaccine that we are working with … but we certainly don’t like to lose access to any one of them because we need multiple vaccines.”

Halperin said all of the protocols had been written and approved and had his lab received the vaccine its study would have been “well along by now.”

“We thought the shipment would be coming any day, as did the company,” he said. “There was no bad faith on the company – they were trying everything but they could not get (Chinese) government approval to ship it. The request for shipment hasn’t been denied it just hasn’t been approved.”

Halperin said the Halifax lab would be working on other COVID-19 studies and is in discussions with at least six different manufacturers. Once approvals are granted he said at least two of the studies could begin as early as next month.

“Things are moving along. We weren’t sitting and waiting for CanSino and doing nothing else.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 27, 2020.

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Three Foothills units placed under 'outbreak watch' as Alberta reports 153 new COVID-19 cases – Calgary Herald

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Article content continued

“A unit can be on watch without having any active patient or staff cases.”

AHS added that patients, families, staff and physicians are all notified when a unit is placed under watch.

The outbreaks at Foothills continued to grow Friday. One more patient tested positive for COVID-19, while five more hospital staff were infected. In total, positive cases in 17 patients and 18 health-care workers have been linked to the outbreaks.

More than a dozen more workers at Foothills have also been instructed to isolate, for a total of 136 staff members currently in quarantine. More than 300 staff have been tested for the novel coronavirus since the start of the outbreaks.

No new deaths at Foothills were reported Friday. Three patients have died due to the outbreaks.

AHS said all patients and almost all health-care workers linked to the outbreaks have been identified, with testing underway.

Though the Foothills outbreak continues to expand, Alberta reported Friday that a much smaller outbreak at another Calgary hospital has been declared over. An outbreak at the Peter Lougheed Centre resulted in infections of three people, all of whom have recovered.

153 new COVID-19 cases

Alberta reported 153 new cases of the coronavirus Friday, bringing the province’s total case count since March to 17,343.

The new cases came from 14,211 tests, about a 1.1 per cent positive rate. There are now 1,497 active COVID-19 cases in Alberta, an increase from Thursday. More than half of those cases (773) are in the AHS Edmonton zone.

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Alberta reports more than 100 COVID-19 cases for 16th straight day – CTV Edmonton

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EDMONTON —
Alberta reported 153 cases of COVID-19 Friday as active infections increased to 1,497.

The province has added more than 100 cases every day since Sept. 9, when it reported 98 new cases.

Fifty-six Albertans are being treated for the coronavirus in hospital, including the 14 patients who are in intensive care.

Alberta did not report new deaths Friday, keeping the total at 261.

The Edmonton zone continues to have more than half of Alberta’s count with 786 confirmed cases, while the Calgary zone has 518.

Alberta has reported 17,343 cases of COVID-19 to date.

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Alberta reports 153 new cases of COVID-19, no new deaths – CBC.ca

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Alberta reported 153 new cases of COVID-19 Friday bringing the number of active cases in the province to 1,497, up 35 from the day before.

A total of 56 people were being treated in Alberta hospitals for the illness, including 14 in intensive care.

No deaths were recorded leaving the number at 261.

Three more outbreaks at schools — Calgary’s Clarence Sansom and Glenmeadows schools and Elsie Yanik Catholic School in Fort McMurray — have been reported, bringing the number of schools with outbreaks to 35.

Outbreaks are declared when a school has two or more cases.

Five schools, with five or more cases, are on a provincial ‘watch’ list. Four of those schools are in Edmonton, with Centre High the most recent addition.

The regional breakdown of active cases was:

  • Edmonton zone: 786 up 13 from the day before.
  • Calgary zone: 518 up 23 from the day before.
  • North zone: 129 down one from the day before.
  • South zone: 41, up one from the day before.
  • Central zone: 16, down three from the day before.
  • Unknown: seven, up two from the day before.

To date 968,031 Albertans have been tested for the coronavirus. So far 15,585 have recovered from the disease.

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