HIGH WEIRDNESS: Dalhousie had already jumped into the COVID-19 vaccine bandwagon even before the virus became publicly known!

To quote a Dalhousie article dated 1st April 2020:

Because the novel coronavirus is new to the human population, the only people with specific antibodies to it are those who’ve been exposed to the virus. Until there is a vaccine, effective public health measures are the primary line of defence.

To give some perspective, Canada confirmed its first case of Covid-19 on 25th January 2020. So here is Dalhousie University pushing for vaccines a mere two months later!

It seems the Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation has already sanctioned $1.5 million for “research” into COVID-19. A lot of this research is into vaccines. To quote,

Dr. Roy Duncan [A Dalhousie professor and Canada Research Chair in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology]
Project: Development and Evaluation of Lead DNA Vaccine Candidates for COVID-19

This study will provide the necessary pre-clinical assessment and validation of second-generation SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidates required to meet Public Health Agency of Canada and World Health Organization guidelines for ethical first-in-human clinical assessment on an expedited timescale.

Amount: $25,000

Dr. Christopher Richardson [Dal’s Killam Chair in Virology Research]
Project: Expression and Purification of the Spike Protein (S) of Covid19 Virus for Diagnostic Purposes and Production of Live Attenuated Viral Vaccines
This study will generate large quantities of coronavirus spike proteins that can be used to produce immune diagnostic kits and in subunit vaccines directed at COVID-19.

Amount: $25,000

Dr. Jun Wang [Editorial Board member of Journal of Vaccines & Immunization, NobleResearch Publishing Group, UK]
Project: Developing a Fast-Track COVID-19 Vaccine and an Antibody ELISA Assay with High Specificity and Sensitivity
This study will determine whether a pentavalent COVID-19 vaccine can be quickly developed by formulating SARS-CoV-2 antigen with a commercial quadrivalent influenza virus vaccine.
Amount: $35,000

Interestingly, a Dalhousie vaccine researcher has also recieved immediate research funding from a separate group. Two of the above researchers are working with him. To quote,

Dr. Kelvin is one of three Dalhousie principal investigators who received Canadian Institutes of Health Research rapid-response funding for COVID-19 research, announced in early March.

Early March? That was fast. Faster than the towers coming down on 9/11. Another Dalhousie vaccine researcher (another Kelvin) just got her lab flooded with $23.3 million dollars (courtesy the Canadian taxpayer). To quote,

An effective animal model is essential for testing new antivirals and vaccines. There is no animal model of COVID-19 as of yet, but it just so happens that a Dalhousie virus researcher is working on an animal model of the disease, at VIDO-InterVac (Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization—International Vaccine Centre) at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon. Dr. Alyson Kelvin, an assistant professor in Dal’s Department of Pediatrics, with an adjunct appointment in Microbiology & Immunology, is working with ferrets in the centre’s high-level pathogen containment facility, to see if the new coronavirus replicates in the animals and if they develop a respiratory illness similar to humans. If so, ferrets could be an effective model for COVID-19 vaccine studies and therapeutic investigations, as well as immunology studies.

On March 23, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced $23.3 million for this lab, which will be a hub for COVID-19 research in Canada.

Some questions.

  1. Who made the decision to pursue vaccines? As opposed to evaluating pre-existing oral drugs such as hydroxychloroquine? Was this a board decision?
  2. Especially in the COVID-19 scenario, a lot of questions are being raised about the safety of vaccines. Were these considered?
  3. What role did major financial contributors to Dalhousie, in particular, vaccine makers like Aventis/Sanofi, Janssen, Merck Frosst, Smithkline Beecham, Allergan, Apotex, Astrazeneca, Glaxo, Novartis, Novopharm, Berlex, Bayer, Abbott, Genfarm, Otsuka, Pfizer to name just a few, play in reaching the decision to pursue a vaccine (as opposed to oral drugs)?

This whole scenario only confirms the “Law of Dalhousie” which is below:

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