Where are we with a COVID-19 vaccine? Premier Jason Kenney asked Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health.
In a video posted on premier’s Facebook, the two sit down to break it down for the public as to what we know so far.
Hinshaw said it could be up to a year until we have a vaccine for COVID-19, in the video.
“The estimates in terms of availability are approximately a year from the time this virus was first identified back in January, unfortunately it’s unlikely we’ll have a vaccine sooner than that,” Hinshaw said.
She said a lot of work is being done on vaccines around the world including Canada.
“There are some place that have started trials of those vaccines,” she said.
Coronavirus is new to us, and that could mean a delay as well, Hinshaw explained with an example.
“In 2009, we had a pandemic of H1N1 influenza, which is a new strain of influenza, but we make influenza vaccines every year, and so what we needed to do with that is plug in the new strain to our preexisting process and we don’t have that with coronavirus, so it takes longer to get a vaccine developed.”
If the early clinical trials are successful and they show they’re safe, we still would need to do larger trials because we wouldn’t want to offer vaccines without rigorous safety testing, the doctor explained.
“And it takes time to make large production — enough vaccine for everyone.”