The Quebec Medicago vaccine will only be a plan B

Quebec will not use the Medicago vaccine as a priority in its strategy to fight the virus. The Ministry of Health published on Tuesday the opinion issued by the Committee on Immunization of Quebec (CIQ) concerning the Cofivenz vaccine from the company Medicago.

The first doses of the vaccine should be delivered at the end of May according to the Ministry of Health and Social Services. But if Medicago stands out in its composition (it is the only vaccine against Covid-19 with plant growth), it appears in studies that it is less effective than the others. Made in Canada, the vaccine is made with a recombinant protein, meaning it does not use messenger RNA technology.

The opinion issued by the CIQ should not facilitate its placing on the market. The committee explains that it is preferable to use messenger RNA vaccines in most situations. According to Health Canada, the effectiveness of Covifenz is 71%, much less than Moderna (94.1%) and Pfizer (95%).

Will he convince the most reluctant?

According to the National Institute of Public Health of Quebec, this vaccine will still be “one more tool in the arsenal of the fight against Covid 19”. Because, if it is not competitive in terms of efficiency, it has other advantages. Its social acceptability might be easier to obtain because it uses classic technology. It might also be of interest to those who have medical contraindications to injecting messenger RNA vaccines.

In the coming months, however, Medicago will have to answer certain questions that remain unanswered. No data have been published regarding its efficacy on the Omicron variant or on the success of booster doses.

Recall that the Covifenz vaccine from Medicago received its marketing authorization on February 24 by Health Canada for people aged 18 to 64. But a month later, the World Health Organization refused to recognize it, accusing Medicago of having shareholding links with a tobacco company.

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