May 3, 2022
Vaccines for the Next Pandemic: A Prescription for Canada
- The frequency of viral outbreaks and pandemics in the last two decades, including the current COVID-19 pandemic, has focussed attention on Canada’s lack of preparedness, vaccine supply shortages and production self-sufficiency. There have been calls for a new public agency to develop and produce vaccines for the next pandemic. However, this proposal is ill advised, according to a new report from the C.D. Howe Institute.
- Authors Paul Grootendorst, Javad Moradpour, Michael Schunk and Robert Van Exan review Canada’s prospects for such an agency. They find that it would be risky to rely on such an agency to rapidly develop, test and produce vaccines, noting, among other problems, the logistical challenges in mounting a large-scale international multi-centre clinical trial in short order.
- Instead, the authors argue, Canada can achieve a more reliable supply of vaccines for a future pandemic, and at a lower cost, by contracting with existing commercial producers that are already engaged in full-scale production, and who thus have demonstrated they have technical competency and secure input supply chains.