Health Canada has given the green light to Moderna’s bivalent COVID-19 vaccine, making it the first vaccine specifically targeting the Omicron variant to get approval for the Canadian market.
Moderna, which submitted its bivalent vaccine candidate to Health Canada in June, said at the time that trial data showed when given as a fourth dose, its variant-adapted shot raised virus-neutralizing antibodies by eight-fold against Omicron.
Ottawa has signed an agreement with Moderna to provide 12 million doses of its updated shot for 2022 and 2023. The two have agreed to convert six million doses of the company’s COVID-19 vaccine, which targets the original virus, to an Omicron-containing bivalent vaccine.
Canada will also purchase an additional 4.5 million doses of the Omicron-containing vaccine, and is moving forward the scheduled delivery of 1.5 million doses of the bivalent shot from to 2022 from 2023.
Vaccine effectiveness has taken a hit as the virus has evolved, and vaccine makers have had to work on creating new shots in an effort to boost protection levels. A bivalent vaccine is designed to target two different variants of the same virus.
More to come.
— with files from The Associated Press and Reuters
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