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This article was made possible with support from ModernaTx
Moderna is rapidly growing from a small company to global scale and Canada is one of its first affiliates. “We are very proud of the fact that Canada was one of the first countries to sign up for the COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna, which has proven itself to be a very effective tool in stopping the spread of COVID-19,” says Dr. Shehzad Iqbal, Country Medical Director, Moderna Canada.
Moderna is keen to establish a long-term presence in Canada for several reasons. “From a purely scientific and research perspective, Canada is well recognized amongst the global players, especially in the infectious diseases and vaccines area,” says Iqbal. Another reason is our diverse population. “Population diversity was reflected in our US Phase 3 clinical trial and continues to be a pillar in all of our clinical and research programs and was another attraction for coming to Canada,” says Dr. Iqbal. In fact, Finally, Canada offers the company an opportunity to partner with and leverage the best expertise to bring its mRNA (messenger ribonucleic acid) technology to the world.
Moderna at forefront of mRNA technology for more than a decade
mRNA plays a vital role in human biology. In mRNA vaccines, mRNA is what instructs the body to produce the SARS-COV-2 spike protein that causes a strong immune response and protects against the SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. mRNA technology is something Moderna has been at the forefront of for more than a decade – having had the highest number of advancements in this platform that have undergone clinical trials1.
The power of mRNA in vaccines is flexibility, adaptability, and speed – something that was put to the test at the onset of the pandemic. “We were able to develop a vaccine that is almost 95% efficacious very quickly,” says Dr. Iqbal. “Our goal is to have created 800 million to 1 billion doses of vaccine by the end of the year and up to 3 billion doses by next year.” As the virus mutates, Moderna’s vast expertise in mRNA technology could allow for a rapid response to address the emergence of new variants.
COVID-19 vaccine safety profile
The benefits of vaccines authorized in Canada continue to outweigh the risks. Health Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), the provinces and territories, and manufacturers [like Moderna] continue to closely monitor the safety of COVID-19 vaccines2.
The COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna is a vaccine used to prevent the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. It can be given to adults aged 18 and older.
To date over 131 million3 doses of COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna have been administered in the US and over 5.1 million4 in Canada. “We’re essentially seeing what was picked up in the clinical trials mimicked in the real world as far as safety and reactivity,” says Dr. Jia Hu, Chair, 19 To Zero, Alberta Primary Care Vaccine Rollout Co-Lead.
The Moderna vaccine does not contain adjuvants, antibiotics, products of animal human origin, preservatives, or the virus itself5. It cannot infect a person with COVID-19, nor alter one’s DNA. “At the end of the day, it’s a highly [tolerable] vaccine as tens of millions of people have received it which is a huge number compared to [enrollment you see in many clinical trials],” says Dr. Hu. “So far, everything is going very well and what I’m most excited about is that as people get vaccinated, we’re starting to turn a corner and see an end to this pandemic,” says Dr. Hu.
To help avoid side effects and ensure proper use, talk to your healthcare professional before you take the COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna.
The COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna is administered as a 2-dose regimen to generate an immune response. “It’s really important that people complete their dosing schedule [to ensure they are fully vaccinated],” says Dr. Hu. “We have all these plans to start reopening, depending on the province, and the best thing you can do right now to protect yourself and your family is to get your vaccine as soon as possible,” says Dr. Hu.
As with any vaccine, the COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna vaccine may not fully protect all those who receive it. Even after you have had both doses of the vaccine, continue to follow the recommendations of local public health officials to prevent the spread of COVID-196.
We absolutely want to avoid a fourth wave. “So please go get the vaccine, enjoy your summer, and let’s end the pandemic together!”
To explore how mRNA science is being used to develop vaccines and therapeutics, visit Moderna Canada.