Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Canada has worked diligently to secure vital personal protective equipment for our frontline medical staff. With practically all PPE manufactured abroad, supply chain issues and unprecedented global demand have caused logistical challenges. It quickly became clear we’d need to ramp up our domestic supply chain to meet demand.
Based in Burnaby, BC, Vitacore Industries answered the call, becoming the first Canadian company to receive Health Canada authorization to produce vital N95 equivalent respirators on home soil. To date, their CAN95 mask is the first and only medical grade respirator manufactured in Canada. They are equipped to supply 1.2 million units per month directly to the healthcare industry, with plans to scale up to 10m units per month.
We spoke to Mikhail Moore, President of Vitacore, to find out more.
Back in February, 2020 we had the idea to launch Vitacore to support Canadian medical professionals during the onset of COVID-19. With a background in engineering, I was focused on constant innovation and immediately saw the need for high quality N95 respirators produced on home soil to ensure a sustainable PPE supply for Canadian frontline workers and families regardless of the global climate.
Vitacore is the first company in Canada with an integrated production facility manufacturing both raw materials and finished products, and the first and only Canadian company to receive Health Canada approval to produce its CAN95 medical grade respirator on home soil.
We partnered with McMaster University to develop this Canadian N95 equivalent respirator with testing completed by the National Research Council of Canada. The Health Canada authorization makes Vitacore’s CAN95 the only medical grade respirator manufactured in Canada. Notably, the CAN95 respirators have also tested at a higher average particle filtration efficiency than the N95 standard, exceeding the N95 rating currently in place.
In addition to the CAN95 medical grade respirator, Vitacore also produces adult surgical masks rated at ASTM Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3, as well as the children’s mask, Canada’s first ASTM Level 1 surgical style mask with BreathSafe technology specifically designed for children. Each of these masks are currently produced at an output of 3.6 million units per month.
As production ramps up, Vitacore aims to increase its output of the CAN95 medical grade respirator to 10M units monthly in the coming months and also anticipates further job creation of up to 150+ employees as production is scaled up. A fully Canadian supply chain is the company’s priority and Vitacore aims to have the CAN95 and all of its components produced in-house using local materials.
We respectfully acknowledge our place of work is within the ancestral, traditional and unceded territories of the Xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səl̓ilwətaʔɬ/sel̓ílwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) and that we serve the Peoples of the many Nations throughout British Columbia.