By The Canadian Press
MONTREAL — Moderna’s new vaccine factory in the Montreal area will be able to produce 100 million doses of mRNA vaccines a year and will help develop top scientific talent in Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday.
Trudeau was alongside Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel and Quebec Premier François Legault at McGill University to announce that the American vaccine maker plans to build its first factory in Canada.
“It’s important to have manufacturing in Canada,” Trudeau told reporters, adding that the facility will create hundreds of jobs in the region.
Moderna’s new facility will produce mRNA vaccines not only against COVID-19 but also ones that target various respiratory viruses, including influenza and respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV.
Legault said the $180-million factory will better prepare Quebec for future pandemics by reinforcing domestic supply chains and vaccine independence.
The Canadian agreement includes both production and vaccine research components, with the facility to be completed by 2024.
Canada’s biomanufacturing industry has declined, but what remains is centred in Quebec and the Greater Toronto Area. Both were in the running for the Moderna plant.
Legault joked that Quebec “won the battle” for the factory against Ontario.
“I’m happy to see Quebec winning,” the premier said.