Canada will be home to a shiny new Moderna production plant. 

The US drug maker signed an agreement with the Canadian government today to bring a state-of-the-art production and research facility to Canadian soil.

This morning in Montreal, Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel signed the memorandum of understanding with federal Innovation Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne to seal the deal.

The plant will be built, owned, and operated by Moderna Inc. to provide Canadians with Moderna mRNA vaccines, including COVID-19 booster shots. In addition to COVID-19, it will produce vaccines to fight other respiratory viruses.

VaccineAmpoules with Covid-19 vaccine on a laboratory bench.

According to The Canadian Press, Moderna and Ottawa are still ironing out specifics, including how many dollars the federal government will drop on the new plant, as well as where and when it will be built. 

The move comes after Champagne said Ottawa would provide $199 million to Mississauga’s Resilience Technologies, a figure that represents about half the cost of revamping and expanding the current plant in order to produce up to 640 million doses of the mRNA vaccines each year. 

To date, Canada has played zero role in the production of any COVID-19 vaccine, leaving the country dependent on imports from other nations to protect its citizens against the relentless virus. Subsequently, Canada's vaccine rollout was notoriously slow.

“COVID-19 vaccines have saved Canadian lives and helped us all to start getting back to normal. Moderna’s plans to establish a state-of-the-art vaccine facility here in Canada is a key move in our plan to grow a strong, competitive domestic life sciences sector with cutting-edge biomanufacturing capabilities. This will make sure Canada is prepared for future pandemics and other health emergencies, strengthen our economy and create good jobs for Canadians," said the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne in a press release.