Canada Authorizes First Plant-Based COVID-19 Vaccine

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SOPA Images/LightRocket via Gett

BRAZIL – 2021/04/12: In this photo illustration the medical syringe is seen with Medicago company logo displayed on a screen in the background. (Photo Illustration by Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Alyssa Rask, Staff Writer

On February 25, Canada became the first country to authorize the use of a plant-based Covid-19 vaccine.

The decision to approve the vaccine was based upon a study of 24,000 adults that found the vaccine was 71% effective at preventing COVID-19. Side effects felt by the trial patients were mild, including fever and fatigue. However, it is uncertain if the vaccine prevents the Omicron variant, as it was produced before it emerged.

The company who produced the vaccine, Medicago, uses plants as living factories to grow virus-like particles, resembling the spike protein that surrounds the coronavirus.

Canadian officials stated late last week that the two-dose vaccination can be given to adults 18-64. However, there is a small amount of data regarding the success of the vaccine on ages 65 and older.