Canadian drug maker says its COVID-19 vaccine is effective – Community News
Covid-19

Canadian drug maker says its COVID-19 vaccine is effective

A Canadian drugmaker said its plant-based COVID-19 vaccine showed strong protection against the virus and will soon seek approval at home and elsewhere.

Medicago announced Tuesday that its two-dose vaccine was 71% effective in preventing COVID-19 infection in a large, late-stage study that included several variants, including the delta variant. The company’s results do not include the emerging ommicron variant, which was not in circulation during the study period.

The Quebec City company said it will seek Canadian approval “soon” and has also started filing with regulators in the US, UK and other countries. The company said it is also preparing to send its data to the World Health Organization.

Medicago uses plants as living factories to grow virus-like particles, which mimic the spike protein that envelops the coronavirus. British partner GlaxoSmithKline is contributing to the vaccine an immune-boosting chemical called an adjuvant.

While numerous COVID-19 vaccines have been rolled out around the world, global health authorities are looking for additional candidates in hopes of increasing supply in developing countries. As the ommicron strain spreads, experts have warned that the coronavirus will continue to thrive as long as large areas of the world are not vaccinated.

The Medicago study involved 24,000 adult volunteers who received either the vaccine or a dummy injection and were monitored to look for COVID-19 infections and complications. They received two injections three weeks apart.

The company said no serious safety concerns were discovered and common side effects such as fever or fatigue were “mild to moderate” and resolved in three days or less. The results have been released in a press release and have not yet been independently reviewed by experts.

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The Associated Press Health and Science Department is supported by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.