Coronavirus: What are the COVID-19 vaccine contenders?

published on July 20, 2020

These are three contenders the government's secured agreements with all very different vaccines the oxford university astrozenica vaccine takes the dna that contains the code for the spike

Protein that causes covid19 and adds it to a harmless chimpanzee virus that's been genetically engineered so it can't harm humans the hope is the body recognizes the protein

And develops an immune response producing both neutralizing antibodies which disable the virus and t cells a type of white blood cell which kill infected cells both of which help

Prevent infection today we've heard in early trials the vaccine does just this and importantly that it's safe the bio n-tech fisa trial is an mrna vaccine a new

Technology it uses synthetic strands of mrna genetic code which mimic the virus once injected they instruct the body's cells to make the proteins needed to fight the virus initial results have shown that all

Volunteers from phase 1 and phase 2 trials have produced antibodies but it's completely new as yet there are no mrna vaccines that have been approved for use the last candidate is being developed by the

French company val neva it's an inactivated vaccine a much more traditional technique it takes the virus and makes it inactive and this causes an immune response but there are questions

About how long and how strong protection would be and this vaccine is at a much earlier stage clinical trials haven't started yet the government has potential access

To millions of doses of each of the vaccines but they're not the only vaccines being developed globally 23 are already in clinical trials and experts say it's important the uk has a foothold in

Several different vaccine approaches the government needs to back lots of different horses on this one because they don't really know what's going to work we've never generated a vaccine

That's protective for coronaviruses so we don't really know how to do it there are all sorts of competing technologies and pet ways of doing these things nobody knows which one's going to work

And which ones aren't so they've got to spread things maybe a little bit thinly but they've got to back lots of horses in order to get a winner vaccine trials need people to test them

And the government's calling for volunteers it's worth remembering also less than one in ten vaccines is successful and even if a vaccine is found quickly the race isn't over and there may well

Be more effective vaccines to follow

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