Canada’s chief public health officer says no vaccine for coronavirus for a year


OTTAWA — Canada’s chief public health officer says it will likely take at least a year before a vaccine is developed to protect people against the new coronavirus that is spreading around the globe.

In the meantime, Dr. Theresa Tam says government and public health authorities should plan on having to manage the outbreak for some time to come.

Some 6,000 people in China have been diagnosed with the new coronavirus and 133 of them have died.

In Canada, there are two confirmed cases in Ontario and one presumed case in British Columbia — all three linked to recent travel in China.

Tam, who updated members of the House of Commons health committee on the outbreak, says the risk of catching the virus in Canada remains low.

And she says Canada and the world are much better prepared to deal with a potential pandemic than they were during the outbreak of SARS, another coronavirus that killed more than 700 people worldwide from 2002-04.