May 5 2021 4:59pm

Technology transfer ‘wouldn’t have gotten us vaccines this year’ COVID-19 vaccine task force co-chair tells committee

The House of Commons Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates on Tuesday heard testimony from members of the federal COVID-19 vaccine task force including Mark Lievonen, the task force’s co-chair, who told the committee that the decision as made early in the COVID-19 pandemic that sourcing international vaccine candidates was the fastest way to get vaccines into the arms of Canadians. Lievonen went on to say that in his opinion, a technology transfer process leading to eventual domestic vaccine production would have been “time consuming” and “wouldn’t have gotten us vaccines this year.” Lievonen’s comments came after the United States Trade Representative announced earlier that day that the U.S. supports waiving intellectual property protections for COVID-19 vaccines.

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