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This article was made possible with the support of ModernaTx
The fall season is upon us and with it brings many unknowns about the ever-changing variants of COVID-19.
In this climate of uncertainty, vaccination will be key to staying healthy and fighting our way out of the pandemic. “In general, when the public is well vaccinated, whether it be against the flu, meningitis, pneumonia or shingles, we see fewer illnesses and less burden on the healthcare system,” says Family Physician Dr. Vivien Brown with private practice in Toronto.
“With COVID-19 specifically, vaccines have had a significant impact in reducing the number of hospitalizations and deaths, and in helping to create a cocoon effect to protect people who cannot be vaccinated,” she says.
Continued efficacy, adolescent approval, booster dose
Moderna’s efforts are critical in the global fight against COVID-19. To date almost 1461 Millions of doses of Moderna’s COVID vaccine have been administered in the United States and more than 7.2 million in Canada.2 As the pandemic evolves, Moderna remains at the forefront of science with mRNA technology.
Although variants, waning immunity, and advanced infections are of concern, new data published in Sciences3 reported that the majority of people vaccinated with the Modern COVID-19 vaccine maintained antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 variants for six months after the second dose.
On August 27, 2021, Health Canada licensed Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine for use in adolescent populations 12 years of age and older. “We see that as a major victory in the fight against COVID-19, says Dr. Beverly Francis, PhD, Director of Scientific Leadership – North America at Moderna. “Vaccination of as many eligible Canadians as possible limits the human pool that serves as a viral reservoir, limits the spread of this virus, and greatly limits the virus’s ability to evolve and mutate into more transmissible or infectious strains,” says Dr. Francis.
Anticipating the combination of current Delta variant strength, waning immunity, and pandemic fatigue will require increased defensive action. Moderna is already preparing by advancing its mRNA-1273 vaccine as a booster candidate4. “Initial research has shown it to be effective in increasing responses in general against the major and ancestral variant strains of the virus, and the safety profile of the booster was similar to that previously seen for dose 2 of the vaccine,” says Dr. Francis. .
Finally, to ensure a consistent supply, Moderna has been working closely with the Government of Canada to ensure the supply of up to 105 million doses of the COVID vaccine and its booster candidates, when authorized, for delivery through 2024.5
MRNA technology as the future of medicine.
The Modern COVID-19 vaccine is the first mRNA vaccine the company has released to the market. MRNA technology is based on the basis that our bodies can create their own defense mechanism. MRNA-based vaccines are designed to deliver instructions to our cells to create proteins that help activate the immune response against the virus. “It’s like giving the cell a recipe to follow, in this case a recipe to produce a spike protein, which then stimulates the antibodies,” says Dr. Brown.
Moderna’s COVID-19 mRNA vaccines are based on more than a decade of basic and applied mRNA science, delivery technology, and manufacturing. The precision, speed and flexibility of the platform enabled Moderna to respond quickly to the COVID-19 pandemic, providing an effective vaccine in just under a year. “It’s such a sleek and precise platform,” says Dr. Brown. “It’s so serendipitous that it was ready at a time when we urgently needed it,” says Dr. Brown.
Moderna’s mRNA platform and approach will enable the company to research, develop and manufacture drugs in new and potentially innovative ways that can help individual patients with individualized therapy or millions of patients with infectious diseases. “Basically, we are industrializing mRNA technology and expanding the reach of therapeutic targets to address diseases, viruses and pathogens in ways that were previously considered unimaginable,” says Dr. Francis.
Strong R&D investments pave the way for new ways of treating disease
In 2020, Moderna invested $ 1.37 billion in R&D6 – and $ 2.3 billion in the last three years. Moderna’s mRNA portfolio includes 23 projects in development and 15 clinical study programs currently underway.7
Within the infectious disease modality, Moderna currently has nine vaccines under development for major unmet needs, including next-generation COVID-19, influenza, cytomegalovirus (CMV), respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), human metapneumovirus (hMPV) vaccines. , parainfluenza (PIV3) and Zika. It has 12 additional drugs under development in four therapeutic areas: immunoncology, rare diseases such as propionic acidemia, cardiovascular and autoimmune diseases.8
“The breadth of the mRNA platform and its capabilities is really exciting,” says Dr. Francis. “If you understand what mRNA is in your nucleus and figure out how to manage it, as we have, you can see that we are only at the beginning,” she says.
Clinical trials are underway to evaluate two of Moderna’s new respiratory vaccine candidates: one is a tetravalent mRNA seasonal flu vaccine candidate and the other is intended to protect against respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).9. “Our vision is to develop a combined respiratory vaccine for adult and older populations, combining seasonal flu, RSV, and COVID-19 booster, all in a single injection,” says Dr. Francis. “Doing many things in parallel to protect against three serious respiratory viruses at once is typical of Moderna’s spirit and audacity,” says Dr. Francis.
To explore how mRNA science is used in vaccines, visit Modern Canada.
Important Safety Information
SPIKEVAX ™ (elasomeran mRNA vaccine) is a vaccine used to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. It can be given to people over 12 years of age. As with any vaccine, SPIKEVAX may not fully protect everyone who receives it. Even after you have received both doses of the vaccine, continue to follow the recommendations of your local public health officials to prevent the spread of COVID-19. People may not be optimally protected until after receiving the second dose of the vaccine.
The most common or very common side effects of SPIKEVAX are injection site pain, tiredness, headache, muscle pain and stiffness, chills, fever, swelling or redness at the injection site, nausea and / or vomiting, and enlarged lymph nodes. Allergic reactions can also occur.
Vaccination may not be suitable for everyone, so ask your healthcare professional if SPIKEVAX is right for you. Complete product information can be found at https://www.modernacovid19global.com/ca/. To report an adverse event, call 1-866-MODERNA (1-866-663-3762).
© 2021 Moderna, Inc.