Canada’s COVID-19 vaccine contender: Medicago’s breakthrough, ties to Big Tobacco and warnings a…

canadas covid 19 vaccine contender medicagos breakthrough ties to big tobacco and warnings a pandemic was coming

Sumary of Canada’s COVID-19 vaccine contender: Medicago’s breakthrough, ties to Big Tobacco and warnings a…:

  • It involves a new technology that’s rapid and nimble, and a vaccine that can be stored at normal fridge temperatures, of 2 C to 8 C, unlike the two other vaccines currently in circulation, which each require frozen or ultra-cold frozen storage.
  • It will involve 30,000 people in 11 countries — including Canada — and will ultimately determine if the vaccine protects people from COVID-19.
  • But without a federal contract to develop a flu vaccine, Clark said Medicago’s shareholders were skittish about dumping money into a construction that didn’t yet have a purpose — and at the commence of 2020, it still wasn’t finished.
  • Pandemic warningsBut if and when Medicago gets the green light from Health Canada to commence shipping its COVID-19 vaccine later this year, the bulk of its doses will initially come from the U.S., not Canada.

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80 million doses expected in 2021

Today, the pace of construction at Medicago’s new production plant on the north-east side of Quebec City plant mirrors the urgency in its labs.

A greenhouse, the size of 10 football fields will soon grow thousands of plants which could satisfy far more than the Canadian demand.

Medicago’s commercial-grade production plant on the north-east side of Quebec City is expected to be complete in late 2023, early 2024.
Medicago’s commercial-grade production plant on the north-east side of Quebec City is expected to be complete in late 2023, early 2024. Courtesy: Medicago

If Health Canada gives it the go-ahead, Medicago expects to deliver 80 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine this year, doubling that in 2022. By the time the new facility is fully functioning in late 2023 or early 2024, it hopes to produce a billion doses a year.

“The pressure is high, and I think everybody in the company is tired,” Dr. Ward said. “But we’re also among the few people in the world that are actively working to try to make things better.”

 

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