By Damon Mitchell • 27 September 2020 • 10:13
THE Covid vaccine has become an obsession for every country in the world with each rushing to be the first to release theirs. However, the safest vaccine could be developed in the Spanish laboratory of the National Centre for Biotechnology in Madrid.
The difference of this vaccine with others is that the team has previous experience in working with other coronaviruses, and according to the Spanish laboratory director and virologist Luis Enjuanes “None of them have been working with coronavirus for 35 years as is our case.”
In January 2020, his group began working on the development of a vaccine, applying the same technique that was used with the outbreaks of SARS-COV, in 2002, and MERS, in 2012, two coronaviruses from bats.
The virologist emphasises that they are working on a vaccine “that will probably go a little slower, but which is much more complete.”
Enjuanes explains that in the Spanish laboratory in 2000 they developed “a system to be able to modify the virus by eliminating genes responsible for its virulence because, when this is done, the virus is attenuated and is a candidate for the vaccine.”
This was a milestone as it was the first virus in the world to be modified in each of its genes.
The goal is to achieve an “attenuated version of the virus that can be administered as a vaccine so that patients develop an immune response that protects them in future exposures to the virulent virus,” according to the National Centre for Biotechnology.
Enjuanes stresses that this “induces 100 per cent protection and it is what is called sterilising protection “.
This means, in the words of the virologist “that when an individual is vaccinated and receives a pathogen from abroad, it does not have the opportunity to replicate, infect and amplify because the immune system is also prepared and attentive and with such a level of response that it does not It gives the virus the opportunity to infect cells and reproduce,” and added, “Of the vaccines that are being developed in the world, only the North American one developed by Johnson and Johnson shares the same characteristics”
Enjuanes explained that the vaccine is directed “where it is needed” and the entry of Covid occurs through the respiratory tract and immunity in the mucosa so “you have to stimulate the immune system right in that respiratory mucosa.” Therefore the vaccine will be applied with an intranasal spray.
“The idea is that it goes to the respiratory tract and the lung and there induces this immunity that protects those areas”, something that does not occur if it is done by means of a needle due to the compartmentalisation of the response in the mucosa.
We hope you enjoyed this article “Spanish laboratory assures they have advantage with previous vaccine experience.”
You may also wish to read 40.3 per cent of those in Spain refuse to be vaccinated immediately.
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As frontman of a rock band Damon used to court the British press, now he lives the quiet life in Spain and seeks to get to the heart of the community, scoring exclusive interviews with ex-pats about their successes and struggles during their new life in the sun.
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