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Vaccine developed by the United States Army begins human trials

A person receives the first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.  EFE / CJ Gunther / Archive
A person receives the first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine. EFE / CJ Gunther / Archive

The US military will begin testing this Tuesday of the vaccine developed by the institution against COVID-19. The volunteers, a total of 72 adults, of between 18 and 55 years will receive the protein-based injection at the Walter Reed Army Research Institute in Silver Spring, Maryland. The medical team will test in this instance, if the vaccine safely induces the desired immune response in the study subjects. According to the researchers, can protect against a number of variants of the coronavirus, newer and more communicable, including UK and South African strains.

Scientists at the Army research institute developed their vaccine by attaching a copy of the spike protein found on the surface of the coronavirus to another protein known as ferritin, which is normally found in human blood and contains iron. Ferritin proteins form a multifaceted spherical structure that resembles the coronavirus. This, in turn, is designed to trigger an immune response that can help defend against the real virus, if a vaccinated person is later exposed to it. It also contains an ingredient called an adjuvant, which is designed to enhance immune responses.

Certain study volunteers will receive a dose of the Army vaccine and others will receive two doses four weeks apart. Researchers will assess immune responses from blood samples taken approximately two weeks after the second dose or six weeks after the single dose.

The first results are expected to be available by mid-American summer. If the results are positive, the military may try to close an agreement with a pharmaceutical company to continue conducting further testing and further developing the vaccine, said Kayvon Modjarrad, director of the institute’s emerging infectious diseases branch.

The researchers stated that the vaccine yielded favorable results in monkey studies who were exposed to the coronavirus.

This vaccine is one of the many that are still in development, many of which aim to improve those that are already available on the market. At the moment they are being made around 229 human vaccine trialsAccording to BioCentury, an institution that is closely monitoring each of the progress.

Next-generation coronavirus vaccines may play a key role in future vaccinations, if they are differentiated from those currently used. Those that elicit a different type of immune response or are administered differently, such as nasal spray or liquid form to be administered orally, may prove useful as primary vaccines outside the United States, or as boosters in people who received previously vaccines against Covid-19, which contain a harmless type of virus known as an adenovirus, such as Johnson & Johnson’s and AstraZeneca’s. Those people can develop immunity to adenovirus in a way that could decrease the effectiveness of a technology-based booster vaccine.

The vaccines currently licensed in the United States, Pfizer, BioNTech SE, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson, seem to have some efficacy against the new variants that have emerged from the virus.

According to a study conducted, the J&J vaccine was the least effective against the South African strain, while Pfizer and Moderna had a reduced neutralizing effect in laboratory tests.

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