First Plant-Derived COVID Vaccine

The first country in the world that has authorized the use of a plant-based COVID-19 vaccine is Canada. The two-dose vaccine of Medicago can be given to adults who are aged between 18 to 64, but little data is available on the shots received by people aged 65 and above.


  • The decision to authorize the vaccine was based on a study conducted on 24,000 adults that showed the efficacy rate of the vaccine is 71% at preventing COVID-19 – although the tests were conducted before the omicron variant emerged.
  • Side effects of this vaccine were mild fatigue and fever.
  • Covifenz is the name given to this vaccine.
  • Canada agreed to buy 20 million doses of this plant-based vaccine, with an option to purchase 56 million additional doses.

How is the vaccine produced?

Plants are used as living factories by Medicago. These plants are used to grow virus-like particles that mimic the coronavirus spike protein. The particles are purified after being removed from the plants’ leaves. An adjuvant, which is an immune-boosting substance produced by GlaxoSmithKline, is added to the shots.

About Medicago

Medicago is located in Quebec City and is developing various types of plant-based vaccines against multiple types of diseases. This plant-based COVID-19 vaccine will help garner more interest in this new type of medical manufacturing.




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