Ottawa: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced that Covid – 19 vaccine developer Moderna will build a manufacturing facility in the country’s Quebec to deliver up to 100 million mRNA vaccine doses annually.
Construction is set to start this year and the facility is expected to be operational in 2024 at the earliest, subject to planning and regulatory approvals, Trudeau said on Friday April 29 in a press release.
In addition to Covid-19 vaccines, the facility is expected to be able to produce vaccines for other respiratory diseases such as influenza, pending the ongoing development by Moderna and approval by Health Canada, according to the news release.
“Covid-19 vaccines saved lives and got Canadians back to doing the things they love,” the Prime Minister added.
Canadian Health Minister, Jean-Yves Duclos said the government will build a domestic biomanufacturing capacity to ensure that Canada continues to have access to vaccines well into the future, Xinhua news agency reported.
Health Canada authorised Moderna’s Spikevax vaccine for adults in December 2020, teenagers in August 2021 and for children aged between six to 11 years in March 2022. More than 29 million doses of Spikevax vaccine have been distributed across Canada.
The company is applying for a vaccine to protect children between six months and five-years-old in Canada. Currently there is no vaccine authorised for children younger than five years.