CanadaHealth

Largest vaccine production plant in Canada opens in Toronto

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the opening of a major vaccine production plant in Toronto on Thursday — part of Canada’s efforts to build up the domestic biomanufacturing sector in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The new Sanofi facility is the largest in Canada and is expected to significantly increase Canada’s domestic production of pediatric and adult vaccines for whooping cough, diphtheria and tetanus.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, it became clear that Canada’s domestic production capacity was insufficient to respond to the pandemic emergency, leaving Canada to rely on imported vaccines. 

“With the resurgence of infectious diseases, the capacity to develop and produce vaccines in Canada is critical. In strengthening Canada’s vaccination supply, we can better help protect our loved ones, our communities, and the most vulnerable among us,” said Ya’ara Saks, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health.

Sanofi, a global biopharmaceutical company, received $415 million from Canada and another $55 million from the Ontario government, to build a flu vaccine and pandemic preparedness plant at its Toronto campus by 2026.

“Sanofi’s two new facilities in Toronto will create good-paying jobs, protect the health and well-being of Canadians, and give our scientists, innovators, and researchers a fair chance to succeed,” said Trudeau.

The company says that facility will be ready in 2027.

“This new state-of-the-art facility is another vote of confidence in our workers and our growing life sciences sector, helping to ensure people in Ontario and around the world have increased access to life-saving vaccines when they need them,” said Ontario Premier Doug Ford, who was also on hand for the announcement.

Between May 2020 and April 2022, Canada promised more than $1.3 billion for 12 new or expanded biomanufacturing plants to make vaccines and antibody treatments.

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