The Corona vaccine is coming. Whether it is the big success, is another matter

A small peak could put the brakes on the Corona pandemic. A vaccine is to press the number of the world’s 200,000 registered infections per day, tens of thousands Dead stop and as soon as possible to the people around the globe again, a life without great restrictions. At the loved one immediately. In fact, the search for a vaccine at a record pace moving forward. There are successes, so that vaccinated subjects can form in some cases, antibodies against the Virus. The proof that one of the substances also protects really is but still.

Within a very short time more than 150 projects, to consider such active ingredients started. Seven months after the outbreak of the pandemic will be tested according to the world health organization, WHO, already more than 20 potential vaccines on humans. A few are even already in or shortly before the decisive Phase of the Tests.

“It would be very bad luck, all should fail”

Experts are confident that there will be success in the vaccine candidate. “It would be very bad luck, should all fail,” says Soumya Swaminathan, chief scientist of the WHO, in an interview with the German press Agency. It assumes that mid-2021 could be a vaccine on a larger scale. But even then, it must be clear, will be Vaccinated, probably only a block in the fight against the Virus.

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Sebastian Ulbert Fraunhofer Institute for cell therapy and immunology (IZI) predicts that there will be in the coming year, several approved vaccines. It limits, however: “The large litter is not to be there but probably still in the process.” The first means only certain groups should benefit from, about young, healthy people. “The high-risk groups at the Corona Virus, particularly the elderly, are also vaccinating the most difficult to.” Your immune system often responds well to vaccinations. To all can be achieved, it’ll take even longer.

Although some manufacturers have submitted in the past few weeks, data, which, according to certain vaccine candidates stimulate in the human body, the formation of specific antibodies which inhibit at least in the laboratory, the multiplication of the virus. So far, however, was demonstrated for a potential vaccine, that he really protects people against infection with Sars-CoV-2.

Phase-III study in Brazil

For Phase III clinical trials are necessary. However, only one of the candidates, such a study is already running right. In the process, thousands of Volunteers get the vaccine. After a few months you can then determine how many of these people have been infected compared to a control group. “It is important to get efficacy data from controlled clinical trials. You need rates but high levels of infection”, explains Klaus Cichutek, President of the vaccine nationwide, to the competent Paul-Ehrlich-Institute (PEI).

Ironically, in the UK and China, where there are projects with relatively large progress, is contained the Virus, but it is strong. What to do? In fact, Phase III, held studies for two of these vaccine candidates are now in a country where the Virus is raging still: Brazil.

Particularly far, the British pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford. Together, they had at 20. June started to check on about 5,000 volunteers, the efficacy of your vaccine. It is based on certain manipulated viruses that normally occur in monkeys. The study runs until July 2021, results are expected earlier.

This Monday (20.July) wanted to start the Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinovac in Brazil, with a Test at almost 9000 employees in the health sector. Sinovac is committed to killed corona virus. Other companies such as the US manufacturer Moderna are waiting in the wings.


Different Vaccine approaches in the fight against Corona

German companies are also involved in vaccine research. The Mainz-based company Biontech presented recently in cooperation with the U.S. group Pfizer first encouraging data. The tübingen-based company Curevac can save in front of volunteers for a first study. Both German companies are working on a so-called RNA vaccine.

If you speak with Fraunhofer researchers Ulbert on the various vaccine concepts, it can be easy to get confused. Although the goal is all the same: An immune response against the Coronavirus to be provoked, without actual infection has taken place. As a result, a longer-term protection is to be created. However, each approach has Strengths according to Ulbert and weaknesses.

The of Sinovac approach used to splash with the help of chemicals, killed corona virus is likely to lead to the formation of antibodies that make the Virus especially efficient, harmless, explains to Ulbert. However, killed virus have chemically also the disadvantage that they can not penetrate into the cells of the body. Thus, less Virus-specific T are formed-cells – which are also part of the immune response. In certain cases, but can be compensated with the help of additives.

DNA and RNA vaccines, in turn, contain the genetic information of the pathogen. The body cells of the vaccinated subjects to forms recover with their help, surface proteins of the Coronavirus against the eventually, the immune system immune factors, in addition to anti-T-cell antibodies. However, so far approved no genbasierter vaccine for people. Important, extensive studies on side effects, here are Ulbert says.

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According to PEI, the President of Cichutek, the security arrangements would have to be in genbasierten vaccines in the production of quite as high. In addition, the manufacturer confirmed that they could quickly produce many doses. “We need to very quickly pay a very high Dose,” says Cichutek. The companies were already vaccine candidates in stock, although there is still no approval.

AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford try it in your vaccine in a different way. You have manipulated in chimpanzees occurring viruses so that they cannot multiply. In addition, these viruses contain genetic material-snippets of Sars-CoV-2, which are then introduced into the cells of the body. Similar to DNA – and RNA-triggered vaccines, then an immune response.

How long you remain immune?

It is unclear whether and how long a vaccine formed antibody to bring anything at all. Thus, several studies indicate that antibodies can disappear after an infection relatively quickly from the blood. This is a vaccination the same way? And what that means for the protective effect? You watch the results very carefully, says Swaminathan by the WHO. The fact that neutralizing disappear at the end of the anti-body does not mean, however, that the immunity was gone. There are reports that the cell – mediated immune response could be the T-cell response-that’s pretty important.

Also Ulbert in the immune response to T-cells. You could turn off infected cells in the mucous membranes directly and Sars-CoV-2 in the pharynx to combat, supported by antibodies. On Thursday the media had reported that the vaccine of the University of Oxford and the group, AstraZeneca may also stimulate the formation of T-cells. It may well be that regular Vaccination will be necessary.

“It is very good that we have so many different approaches,” says WHO scientist Swaminathan. Depending on your mechanism, you might be suitable for different population groups – such as older people, pregnant women, or children – well.

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