What if the first Corona vaccines are ineffective?
Seven months after the new CORONAvirus crisis, and with more than 30 vaccines rapidly progressing during clinical trials, research hopes are being held on vaccine trials to counter the virus that has killed more than 800,000 people worldwide.
Despite hopes, there are research concerns that the first approved vaccine to be the “best vaccine” to be approved for the virus will not be the best vaccine to be expected to be, while 88 potential vaccines are currently being tested worldwide, 67 of which are scheduled to begin clinical trials before the end of 2021.
Even if the first wave of vaccines succeeds, many researchers worry that it will not be possible to produce enough of them quickly enough to meet the global need, the New York Times reported.
Before millions receive the first wave of vaccines, it will take months to see if any of them are safe and effective. However, scientists who developed it say their designs may be able to stimulate stronger immune responses, or be much cheaper in production, or both, in the hope of winning “slowly and steadily” in the battle to find a vaccine against the coronavirus.
How do vaccines work?
Many potential vaccines try to teach the human body the same basic lesson: vaccines offer a protein that covers the surface of the coronavirus, called Spike, which seems to push the immune system to make antibodies to fight the virus.
Vaccines stimulate antibodies, as they are the only weapon owned by the immune system, and blood cells known as T-cells can resist infection by attacking other cells infiltrated by the virus.
Vaccines that only trigger antibody responses are likely to fail in the long run, according to the U.S. newspaper’s report.
“We still don’t know what kind of immune response will be enough for protection,” said Luciana Light, vaccine researcher at the Botanan Institute in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Dr. Light and other researchers are testing vaccines made from several parts of the CORONA virus to see if they can “convince” T cells to control them. “T-cells are the second line of defense that may work better than antibodies,” says Ann de Groth, ceo of Ebefax, based in Providence, USA.
Also concerned is that the efficacy of the vaccine could be affected by how it enters our bodies, as all first-wave vaccines must be injected into clinical trials into muscles, and the nasal spray vaccine may work better, as the coronavirus invades our bodies through the airway.
Several clinical trial groups are preparing to produce nasal spray vaccines, such as a New York company called Kodagenix, where a vaccine containing a “synthetic” version of the coronavirus they have made from scratch is being tested.
This experiment has been a classic method of dealing for decades with previous diseases, where the vaccine is produced by “weakening” the virus, by growing in other animals such as chickens, and when these viruses adapt to the animal’s body, they are ready to enter the human body. In this way, viruses seep into human cells, but at a slow pace, they can’t make us sick, but this simple dose can give our bodies a lot of power.
But there are still small viruses whose “development” as a vaccine is a “big conflict”, says Robert Coleman, CEO of Kodagenix: “It depends on trial and error. We can’t be precisely sure what mutations do to this virus.”
The first is not always the best
“The first vaccines may not be the most effective,” says Ted Ross, director of the Center for Vaccines and Immunology at the University of Georgia, which is working on an experimental vaccine that he hopes will be introduced into clinical trials in 2021.
But some researchers are concerned that we may pin too many hopes on a strategy that has not proven to be effective. “It would be a shame to put all our eggs in the same basket,” says David Wessler, a virologist at the University of Washington.
In March, Dr. Wessler and his colleagues designed a vaccine consisting of millions of nanoparticles, and when researchers injected these “nanoparticles” into mice, animals responded with a flood of coronavirus antibodies, and when scientists introduced the mice fortified to the Corona virus, they found that it completely protected them from infection. The researchers shared their preliminary findings this month in a paper that has not yet been published in a scientific journal. Lucusafx, a startup co-founded by Dr. Wessler’s assistant Neil King, is preparing to begin clinical trials of the nanoparticle vaccine by the end of this year.
“We are dealing with the epidemic in a fairly traditional way,” says Thomas Lingelbach, chief executive of French vaccine manufacturer Valeniva, which britain has arranged to buy 60 million doses of corona vaccine in the future.
Many scientists believe that their ongoing work on the vaccine is part of a “long-term game”. The use of established methods can also reduce the cost of the CORONA vaccine, making it easier to distribute it to less affluent countries.
Even with vaccines approved, the issue of manufacturing to meet the expected need for a vaccine is a major challenge, says Florian Kramer, a virologist at the Icaan School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City.
We need many doses.” Some of the expected first wave products are based on designs that have not been largely produced before, says Stephen Müller, chief scientific officer at Kodagenix, “manufacturing calculations are so vague. Kodagenix, for example, is partnering with the Serum Institute in India to manufacture vaccines, and the Institute is already making billions of doses of vaccines for measles and influenza-weakening live viruses. But even if the world gets cheap and effective vaccines against Cofed-19, that doesn’t mean that all our fears about the epidemic are over.
With an abundance of other coronavirus lurking in wild animals, another corona-like pandemic may not be far away. Therefore, many companies in China, France and the United States are developing “global” CORONA virus vaccines that may protect people from a range of viruses, even those that have not yet colonized our species.