Canada approves second vaccine made without mRNA technology

Canada’s drug regulator has approved a plant-based coronavirus vaccine that could be a reasonable alternative for those worried, despite evidence to the contrary, about the safety of the technology. mRNA behind vaccines such as those made by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.

The regulator, Health Canada, said trials have shown that the two-dose Covifenz vaccine, developed by Quebec City-based Medicago, 71% effective against infection. Consent is only available to those 18 to 64 years old.

This is the second non-mRNA vaccine approved for use in Canada. Last week, Health Canada approved a protein-based vaccine developed by Novavax, a Maryland-based company. A scientific advisory panel that makes vaccine recommendations to the government said the Novavax option could be used for people “who are not willing to receive a Covid-19 mRNA vaccine”.

On Thursday, Dr Howard Njoo, deputy director of public health for Canada, said that so far, the panel has preferred mRNA vaccines because of their effectiveness and “also because of their well-known safety record. “. The panel will issue guidance on the Medicago vaccine in about two weeks.

Canada has currently approved six vaccines, although not all of them are currently available.

Last year, the government agreed to buy 76 million doses of the Medicago vaccine, which is not expected to start being available in Canada until May. According to a New York Times database, officials said this week that 82% of Canadians over the age of 5 were fully immunized, officials said this week more doses are likely to be delivered. other countries.

The Medicago vaccine is based on proteins that are similar to the coronavirus for the immune system. Those proteins are made in a plant closely related to tobacco. Vaccine effectiveness is enhanced by adjuvants manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline.

At the start of the pandemic, Canada did not have a single pharmaceutical company capable of producing a Covid vaccine, which led to initial delays in supply. To help with that, the government has supported the development efforts of Medicago, owned by Japan’s Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma, and Philip Morris International, the New York-based tobacco company. Novavax also agreed to manufacture its vaccine in an expanding government-owned plant in Montreal. Canada approves second vaccine made without mRNA technology

Fry Electronics Team

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