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Mississauga, Ont., plant tapped to make mRNA for Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccines

Click to play video: 'Canada signs with Moderna to open mRNA vaccine plant' Canada signs with Moderna to open mRNA vaccine plant
WATCH ABOVE: In a move to better secure the future of mRNA technology in Canada, Ottawa has signed on with COVID-19 shot maker, Moderna. The announcement of a domestic production plant comes as the pandemic highlighted a major gap in the country’s biotechnology sector. Global News Health reporter, Jamie Mauracher, has more – Aug 10, 2021

Under a new multi-year agreement, a plant in Mississauga, Ont. has been tapped by Moderna to make a key ingredient needed for its worldwide supply of COVID-19 vaccines.

According to a statement, National Resilience Incorporated’s facility will be responsible for providing messenger RNA (mRNA) substances for use by the vaccine manufacturer.

“This collaboration has the potential to ensure more people are protected around the world from the deadly COVID-19 virus,” Rahul Singhvi, the CEO of Resilience, wrote.

Read more: New Moderna plant welcomed by public health experts but more details needed

The news came months after the federal government announced it would be providing nearly $200 million to the company to help ensure mRNA vaccines are made in Canada.

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The announcement also came nearly a month after Moderna signed a memorandum of understanding with the federal government to build a state-of-the-art mRNA vaccine manufacturing plant somewhere in Canada, which will mark the first facility based outside of the company’s presence in the United States.

Global News contacted Moderna on Thursday morning to ask for an update on the project, but a response wasn’t received by the time of publication.

A lack of domestic vaccine manufacturing capacity came to the forefront during the COVID-19 pandemic as the Canadian government had to compete with other countries to secure doses from plants located across the world.

Read more: ‘Game-changer’: How mRNA COVID-19 vaccine technology could help fight other diseases

mRNA acts as a blueprint for human cells, it triggers the creation of a specific protein found in a virus.

When it comes to the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) virus, a spike protein is created and ultimately after an injection a person’s immune system should recognize it and build antibodies to fight off the virus.

Experts praised the versatility of the newer mRNA technology and how it can be used to help fight other viruses and diseases.

— With files from Jamie Mauracher

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