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Moderna plant in Laval targets fall 2025 vaccination campaign

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Moderna's Laval plant will be able to supply COVID-19 vaccines for the fall 2025 vaccination campaign.

"These messenger RNA vaccine production facilities should be in a position to supply vaccines to all Canadians in the fall of 2025," said Jerh Collins, Moderna's chief operating and quality officer, on Friday, during an official visit to mark the plant's completion.

The Laval plant is expected to produce around 100 million doses of RNA vaccine annually.

In April 2022, the federal government signed an agreement with Moderna to set up a plant in Quebec. The choice of Laval was announced in August 2022, and construction began on the $250-million project in November 2022.

The plant will be able to do much more than produce vaccines to fight COVID-19, noted François-Philippe Champagne, federal minister of innovation, science and industry, at a press conference.

"Moderna isn't just about COVID-19. It's a whole range of vaccines that we'll be able to produce at home," he said. "There are even potential vaccines for cancer."

Quebec Economy Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon pointed out that the project will reduce Canada's dependence on vaccine production.

Fitzgibbon believes Moderna's new project will serve as a calling card to attract other pharmaceutical projects to Quebec.

"There are international pharmaceutical companies looking at what's going on, at the talent at McGill, at the Université de Montréal, among others," he said. "I think it's going to create a pretty significant momentum for the life sciences."

- This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on Feb. 23, 2024.

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