Canada became the first country to authorize the use of a plant-based vaccine against COVID-19.
Canadian regulatory authorities reported Thursday that the two-dose Medicago vaccine can be given to adults between the ages of 18 and 64although they pointed out that there are very few data on injections given to people aged 65 and over.
The measure was based on a study of 24,000 adults that revealed that the vaccine was 71% effective against COVID-19, though that was before the omicron variant emerged. The side effects that were observed were mild, such as fever and fatigue.
Medicago, a biotech company based in Quebec City, uses plants as living factories to grow virus-like particleswhich mimic the spike protein that coats the coronavirus.
The particles of this vaccine are extracted from plant leaves and purified, then another ingredient is added to the injections.: An immune system-boosting chemical called an adjuvant, manufactured by UK partner GlaxoSmithKline.
While numerous COVID-19 vaccines have been developed around the world, other candidates are being studied by global health authorities in hopes of increasing global supply.