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Should offer several advantages: Can the corona vaccine be swallowed?

Should offer several advantages
Can the corona vaccine be swallowed?

The syringe is a symbol of the vaccination campaign against the coronavirus – but that could change in the future. Because a company is currently developing a corona vaccine that only has to be swallowed. Tests on humans should start in the second quarter of the year.

So far, a spade in the upper arm is necessary to vaccinate people against Covid-19. The US-Israeli company Oramed wants to change that. It is developing a corona vaccine that only needs to be swallowed. Oramed boss Nadav Kidron revealed some details in an interview with the “Jerusalem Post”.

The oral corona vaccine should bring some advantages, explains Kidron: On the one hand, it should better protect against virus variants. Because the vaccine targets three structural proteins from Sars-CoV-2 – in contrast to the single spike protein, which the vaccines from Moderna and Biontech / Pfizer are aimed at. Kidron also emphasizes that oral medications tend to have fewer side effects.

According to Kidron, the corona pill is a yeast-based vaccine, which makes the time and costs for production significantly lower than with the already approved competitors. The vaccine can also be shipped at refrigerator temperature and even stored at room temperature, “which makes it logistically easier to distribute it all over the world,” said Kidron.

People could possibly even take the oral vaccine at home, says the Oramed boss. “While ease of use is critical to speeding up vaccination coverage today, an oral vaccine could become even more valuable if a Covid-19 vaccine similar to the standard flu shot is recommended annually.”

Clinical phase should start soon

So far, the oral corona vaccine has only been tested in animal experiments, the company said. There it is said to have already proven that it stimulates the formation of important antibodies that protect against virus infection. Tests on humans are scheduled to begin in the coming quarter.

Clinical studies consist of three phases – in the first, a few test subjects are tested to determine whether the vaccine is tolerated and whether it can trigger an immune response. Only later will the effectiveness be tested in a third phase. According to previous experience, however, there are at least several months in between.

According to Kidron, clinical studies could be carried out in Europe, the United States, Israel or Mexico. The company hopes to test the vaccine in Africa, where an oral vaccine could prove important.

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