Canada has approved a plant-based COVID-19 vaccine for adults. The vaccine by Medicago is the world’s first plant-based vaccine approved against COVID-19.

Health Canada has cleared it for use in adults, and it is the sixth COVID-19 vaccine to be cleared in the country. It is a two-dose vaccine and uses an adjuvant, a substance that enhances immune system response to the presence of an antigen.

The Quebec-based company has an agreement with the Canadian government to supply up to 76 million doses of the vaccine and plans to fulfill the order as soon as possible.

The vaccine, branded Covifenz, uses technology that involves plants in its developmental process to produce non-infectious particles that mimic the virus.

The vaccine is currently approved for people ages 18 to 64 and will test the shot as a booster dose for children. A study found the vaccine to be 75.3% effective against the Delta variant and showed a 71% efficiency against all variants except Omicron, which was not prevalent when the study was conducted. The company plans to study the custom Omicron version of the vaccine.

Marc-André D’Aoust, executive vice president of innovation, development, and medical affairs at Medicago said they intend to apply for approval of the vaccine in Japan and discuss approval with the U.S, Europe, and Asia.

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