The current pandemic is not the first the world has seen, it will most certainly not be the last, and this one is far from over. With improved treatments and vaccines on the way, the next item on the to-do list is to be ready for the next big outbreak.
The Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization
(VIDO) at the University of Saskatchewan currently operates Canada’s largest high-containment facility and was one of the first organizations in the country to isolate the
new coronavirus. It has been in operation for more than forty years and has been focusing on new and emerging diseases. VIDO was already well-positioned to respond to COVID-19 and is learning more from the current outbreak to be even better prepared for the next one. The organization has been involved in past vaccine development and is ready to expand so that it can manufacture its own vaccine to speed up pandemic response.
Volker Gerdts is the Director and CEO of the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization-International Vaccine Centre (VIDO-InterVac). He presented to a virtual Bacon & Eggheads event on February 18th
sponsored by Genome Canada and PAGSE (The Partnership Group for Science and Engineering). Normally these breakfast events are held in Ottawa to bring Parliamentarians together with experts in science and engineering, but because of the pandemic it moved online so everyone could take part. Freelance broadcaster Don Hill got a sneak peek at the presentation. Give it a listen: