(Reuters) – Moderna Inc will supply 12 million doses of its COVID-19 shot adapted to target the Omicron variant of the coronavirus to Canada, the company said on Monday.
The Canadian government had entered into a supply deal with the company last year for supply of its COVID vaccine for 2022 and 2023, with the contract allowing access to new vaccine adaptations.
Moderna and the Canada have agreed to convert six million doses of the company’s COVID-19 vaccine, which targets the original virus, to an Omicron-containing bivalent vaccine.
Canada will also purchase an additional 4.5 million doses of the Omicron-containing candidate, and is moving forward the scheduled delivery of 1.5 million doses of the bivalent vaccine candidate from 2023 to 2022.
While existing COVID-19 vaccines continue to provide protection against hospitalisation and death, vaccine effectiveness has taken a hit as the virus has evolved.
Moderna in June said trial data showed that when given as a fourth dose, the variant-adapted shot raised virus-neutralizing antibodies by eight-fold against Omicron.
(Reporting by Mrinalika Roy in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)
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