Covid-19: WHO Refuses Emergency Use Authorisation To First Homegrown Canadian Vax
New Delhi: The World Health Organization (WHO) has refused emergency use authorisation to the first homegrown Canadian Covid-19 vaccine.
As per the WHO, it was not accepted due to the manufacturer’s links to a tobacco major.
The WHO had not accepted the application from Medicago for its candidate Covifenz, which was approved in Canada on February 24. Among the main shareholders of Medicago, which is headquartered in Quebec City, is Philip Morris, the global tobacco company.
Covifenz is a unique vaccine, the first shot that utilises a plant-based platform, and the agency Canadian Press reported that the virus-like particles are cultured in a plant related to tobacco.
Medicago president and CEO Takashi Nagao said in a statement cited by the outlet Global News, “It is our understanding that this decision is linked to Medicago’s minority shareholder and not the demonstrated safety and efficacy profile of our Covid-19 vaccine.”
WHO has updated the status of the application to ‘Not accepted’.
At the time the vaccine was cleared in Canada, it showed a 71% efficacy against variants of Covid-19. However, the jab, so far, has only been authorised for use by Canada and nowhere else in the world.
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