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Coronavirus: Vaccine may soon be available, say Israeli scientists

Researchers and scientists at the institute identified a possible vaccine for coronavirus as a by-product, while working on the development of a vaccine against IBV (Infectious Bronchitis Virus), a disease that affects poultry.

February 29, 2020 / 08:46 PM IST
Representative image

Representative image

An oral vaccine for the novel coronavirus is under works and is expected to be available within 90 days after tests have been conducted, DailyMail has reported.

Scientists in Israel have been working on a cure for the viral infection, that has claimed over 2,900 lives across the world.

Israeli officials have expressed hopes that the "breakthrough" will help in dealing with the outbreak.

In a statement on the MIGAL Galilee Research Institute's website, Israel’s Minister of Science and Technology Ofir Akunis, said, "Congratulations to MIGAL on this exciting breakthrough. I am confident that there will be further rapid progress, enabling us to provide a needed response to the grave global COVID-19 threat."

Researchers and scientists at the institute identified a possible vaccine for coronavirus as a by-product, while working on the development of a vaccine against IBV (Infectious Bronchitis Virus), a disease that affects poultry.

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COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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The institute has made required genetic adjustments to adapt the IBV vaccine for the treatment of COVID-19, the human strain of the novel coronavirus. Work to achieve the necessary safety approvals that will enable in-vivo testing and the initiation of production of a vaccine to counter the coronavirus epidemic, is underway, the statement noted.

David Zigdon, CEO of MIGAL Galilee Research Institute said, "Given the urgent global need for a human coronavirus vaccine, we are doing everything we can to accelerate development. Our goal is to produce the vaccine during the next 8-10 weeks, and to achieve safety approval in 90 days."

This, he added, will be an oral vaccine, making it particularly accessible to the general public.

"We are currently in intensive discussions with potential partners that can help accelerate the in-human trials phase and expedite the completion of final product development and regulatory activities," Zigdon said.
Moneycontrol News
first published: Feb 29, 2020 08:46 pm

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