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The world’s first plant-derived Covid-19 vaccine was cleared for use in Canada, creating a novel immunization to combat the virus from a unit of Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corp. and Philip Morris International. 

The vaccine named Covifenz was jointly developed by Medicago Inc., a biopharma company owned by Mitsubishi Chemical and Philip Morris and based in Quebec City, and GlaxoSmithKline Plc.

Here are the 10 things to know about Covifenz vaccine:

This is the first authorized COVID-19 vaccine developed by a Canadian-based company, and the first that uses a plant-based protein technology. 

Medicago's Covifenz is authorized as a two-dose regimen of 3.75 micrograms per dose, to be administered 21 days apart.

In clinical trials, the vaccine was found to be 71 per cent effective against symptomatic infection and 100% effective against severe disease caused by COVID-19.

The Covifenz vaccine data suggest efficacy against multiple variants, including Delta. 

Clinical trials with Covifenz showed efficacy against the Delta and Gamma variants, and data also suggested efficacy against Alpha, Lambda and Mu variants.

Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada will continue to closely monitor the safety of this vaccine, and will take action if any safety concerns are identified.

This is the first authorized COVID-19 vaccine developed by a Canadian-based company, and the first that uses a plant-based protein technology.

Possible side effects: 

After getting vaccinated, it’s common to have temporary side effects. These can last a few hours to a few days after vaccination. 

This is the body’s natural response, as it’s working hard to build protection against the disease which include chills, fatigue, joint aches, headache, mild fever,muscle aches, nasal congestion, sore throat,cough, nausea,diarrhea.

The dosing schedule approved by Health Canada is to give 2 doses 21 days apart, based on evidence from clinical trials. Each dose contains 3.75 micrograms of the SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein and 0.25 millilitres of the AS03 adjuvant.

Medicinal ingredient

Plant-based virus-like particles (VLP) of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein (original strain) AS03 Adjuvant (manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline):

DL-alpha-tocopherol

squalene

polysorbate 80

phosphate buffered saline

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