Health Canada approved Medicago’s COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, which uses GlaxoSmithKline’s adjuvant to boost immune response, making it the first approval for the plant-based-manufacture shot anywhere in the world.
The two-dose vaccine has been approved for people aged 18 to 64 years, the health agency said in a notice https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/drugs-health-products/covid19-industry/drugs-vaccines-treatments/vaccines/medicago.html.
The shot was 75.3% effective against the Delta variant of the virus in a late-stage study, the two companies said in December. Efficacy against hospitalisation was 81%.
The vaccine also showed overall efficacy of 71% against all variants of the coronavirus except Omicron, which was not in circulation when the study was underway.
The shot uses a technology known as virus-like particles (VLP), which mimic the structure of the coronavirus but contain no genetic material from it.
The VLPs are produced in the leaves of plants, and the final vaccine includes a GSK adjuvant that has already demonstrated safety in other licensed vaccines.
Canada has already cleared several vaccines, including those based on mRNA technology from Moderna and Pfizer. Last week, it cleared Novavax’s shot for use in adults.