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Canada’s Vaccine A+

An interview with Dr. Gayle Pulle from Health Canada reveals how a dedicated team worked tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure the approval of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines under extraordinary circumstances!

Headshot of Gayle Pulle

Dr. Gayle Pulle

Canada may get a “B” for the lack of speed of the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out; but there is another part of the COVID-19 vaccine process that gets an A+. Vaccine approval in Canada was done as well or better than any place in the world.  Canada’s vaccine approval process was rapid, thorough, and identified four safe vaccines for use in Canada in a timely manner.

With so much information and misinformation circulating recently about COVID-19 vaccines, people are understandably confused. We felt that it was important to help us all understand the rigorous process that led to vaccines being approved for use in Canada, and to assure the public that they are safe. What better way to do this than to talk to someone who has dedicated her career to the vaccine approval process?

While some people can’t wait to get their vaccine, others worry that vaccine approval was “too quick”.  As our guest will explain, the Health Canada approval process was both rigorous and efficient.  It’s an aspect of our pandemic response of which we can be proud of.

During the pandemic, there has been ample attention to thanking front-line workers; however there are many other individuals who are unsung heroes.  Representing one such group is today’s guest – Dr. Gayle Pulle from Health Canada. Gayle is a long-time friend and previous colleague of Anita Ng, our DOM manager. Gayle agreed to chat with us about the COVID-19 vaccine approval process. Even more remarkable, Gayle shares her personal story, which is humbling and shows her dedication and passion for ensuring that Canadians have access to safe and effective vaccines.

 

 

Gayle is the manager of the Viral Vaccines Division, at Health Canada and we asked her to tell us a bit about herself and the journey she took to get to her current role.

 

What exactly does the manager of the Viral Vaccines Division do?

 

With so much conflicting and misinformation out there, we asked Gayle to explain the vaccination review process.

 

Then we wanted to know the most common myths or misunderstandings about the vaccine approval. We asked Gayle to talk to us about the most unusual and incorrect things she has heard and to put some vaccine myths to rest.

 

The speed with which this pandemic spread has required a rapid vaccine response. However, Health Canada realized the public wanted a safe product. We wanted to know what the biggest challenges were that Gayle and the team had to overcome to achieve both goals. Gayle talks about a highlight that reflects her very personal commitment to getting the vaccines approved in a timely manner and to ensuring they are safe!

 

After all of you and your colleagues hard work, what has been the most rewarding moment so far?

 

Many essential workers have been working despite personal struggles and challenges during this pandemic. We asked Gayle what her own challenges have been. Her story about managing her life and family while working on the COVID-19 vaccine approval is humbling.

 

Finally we asked Gayle about lessons learned. After this incredible adventure approving and monitoring multiple vaccines, what would she do differently for the next pandemic?

To view this interview in its entirety, please click here.

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