The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us all a few harsh lessons, and our experience is not over yet. To protect Saskatchewan residents from emerging disease threats, Hospitals of Regina Foundation has invested $150,000 to help establish Canada’s Centre for Pandemic Research at the University of Saskatchewan’s Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization, otherwise known as VIDO.
Our investment will support crucial vaccine research and development right here in Saskatchewan, strengthening frontline health care and helping to reduce the impact of both COVID-19 and future infectious diseases and pandemics.
This new funding will help expand VIDO’s ability to develop new vaccines. With the addition of global scientific leaders and enhanced training, VIDO will be poised to lead Canada’s response to future pandemic threats.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, University of Saskatchewan’s VIDO took a national leadership role, and the organization recently announced positive Phase 1 test results for COVAC-2 - one of VIDO’s COVID-19 vaccine candidates.
“VIDO already operates Canada’s largest high containment facility, one of the most advanced in the world. By becoming Canada’s Centre for Pandemic Research, we will use and expand this unique infrastructure to develop new vaccines from research to production”, says Dr. Volker Gerdts, President and CEO of VIDO.
With support from Hospitals of Regina Foundation, other private donors and all levels of government, Canada’s Centre for Pandemic Research will soon be up and running.
“We are pleased to be investing in this new vaccine research centre in our province to support the research and development of a made-in Saskatchewan COVID-19 vaccine, as well as other vaccines that will positively impact the health of our southern Saskatchewan community and prepare us for the next pandemic,” said Hospitals of Regina Foundation president and CEO Dino Sophocleous. “With what we’ve experienced over the past year and a half, this is a needed step in building our capacity to deal with future pandemics.”