The coronavirus vaccine gives hope.
Photo: Nataliya Vaitkevich / Pexels
Spanish science, despite the lack of funds, is making steady progress in its fight against COVID-19.
Their challenge – they explain in the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) – is get one of the best vaccines in the world against coronavirus for the future. A compound that, after the current crisis, guarantees a quality immunization, at a good price and above all, long-term.
The most advanced Spanish project uses a variant of the virus that was used to eradicate smallpox, has shown an efficacy of 100% in mice, as has been published by the prestigious Journal of Virology.
Although at the moment it has only been tested on animals, it is a higher immunization percentage that of the two large laboratories that already distribute their vaccine in Europe (Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna), which have an efficiency of 95%, and much higher than the 70% immunity achieved by the third of the projects, that of AstraZeneca / University from Oxford.
As reported this Thursday by the CSIC, with these data the scientists’ project Mariano Esteban and Juan García Arriaza you’re ready to move further into clinical trials. The next step is to request a permit from the Spanish Medicines Agency for first clinical trials, phases I / II, which could start in a few weeks, with the inoculations of the first humans (100 volunteers in the first stage and larger groups in the second).
Although the human trials were a success and there were not too many setbacks, the launch date is not anticipated before 2022.
“The vaccine confers 100% protection against the virus in a humanized mouse model susceptible to infection by SARS-CoV-2, which is very important,” Arriaza stressed.
The way the vaccine works is complex: the virus that would eventually be inoculated has been modified to “express” the complete S protein of SARS-CoV-2, which is the key that allows the coronavirus to enter human cells. This protein is produced as soon as the virus enters the cell and is what ‘teaches’ the immune system how to recognize the real coronavirus and how to eliminate it.
The study has shown that the administration of one or two doses of this vaccine candidate protects 100% of the ‘humanized mice’ from the disease and lethality caused by SARS-CoV-2. Two doses of the vaccine produce a complete inhibition of virus replication in the lungs.