In the likely case that Canadian regulators approve Moderna's (MRNA -0.65%) coronavirus vaccine candidate -- mRNA-1273 -- the country will receive twice as many doses as previously arranged. On Monday, the company revealed that the Canadian government has doubled its potential uptake of the vaccine, upping its confirmed order commitment to 40 million from the formerly agreed 20 million.
mRNA-1273 is already under rolling review by Health Canada. This means that the healthcare regulator began to evaluate the vaccine during its late-stage clinical trial. On Nov. 30, Moderna announced that the primary efficacy analysis of 196 participants in the study indicated efficacy of just over 94%, which is extremely high for a vaccine candidate. All told, the trial involved over 30,000 participants.
mRNA is administered in a two-dose regimen. As the country's population is just above 38 million people, according to the most recent estimates from Statistics Canada, more than half of its inhabitants could theoretically receive a full cycle with those 40 million doses.
Moderna said it is prepared to start shipping the vaccine when and if it wins Health Canada approval. It could do so as soon as this month. Moderna quoted its CEO Stephane Bancel as saying:
This increased supply agreement from the Canadian government today reaffirms the confidence in our COVID-19 vaccine candidate and we appreciate our collaboration with the Canadian government as with many other governments and other key partners around the world.
As one of the leading coronavirus vaccine-candidate developers, Moderna continues to be very much on the radar of investors. On Monday, its stock price jumped by 4.6% in contrast to the slight decline of the S&P 500 index.