Burnaby mask company Vitacore is being thanked by the union that represents B.C. teachers for donating 100,000 respirators to its members.
“Huge thank you to the folks at Vitacore Industries, a B.C. company that manufactures PPE for frontline workers,” tweeted the BC Teachers’ Federation. “They have donated 100,000 N95 masks to the BCTF. We will distribute the N95s to members who need them through our locals.”
The BCTF added that the “provision of PPE like N95s should absolutely be the role of the” B.C. government. “We will continue our advocacy, lobbying and OHS efforts to get employers to provide this important layer of protection to all members who want them.”
The debate over N95 and above respirators and surgical masks continue to gain traction, even deterring volunteers to give out booster immunizations.
Vitacore president Mikhail Moore tweeted on New Year's Eve that the company would also donate 200,000 N95/N99 respirators to Health Care Workers administering vaccines if the province "immediately changes its policy to allow the protection our HCWs are asking for."
"We need to do everything we can to support our HCWs and the integrity of our healthcare system," Moore wrote.
"This means making evidence-based decisions like the use of N95s.
"Even if the science wasn't clear (and it is), why take the risk?"
Burnaby’s Vitacore Industries Inc. was the first Canadian company to receive Health Canada authorization to produce N95-equivalent respirators on home soil.
Vitacore said it partnered with McMaster University to develop this Canadian N95-equivalent respirator with testing completed by the National Research Council of Canada.
Its single-use fold CAN95 respirators have tested at a higher average particle filtration efficiency than the N95 standard, said the company. Vitacore is also the first company in Canada with an integrated facility producing raw materials and finished products.
Helmed by local business leaders, the privately-held company has quickly grown to a team of 90 employees, including engineers and medical professionals at its state-of-the-art facility in Burnaby.
With files from Jess Balzer, Burnaby NOW