US pharmaceutical company Moderna announced that the first “fine-tuned” vaccine developed against the alarming variants of the corona virus emerging in South Africa and Brazil was successful.
However, leading companies are competing to produce adapted versions of Covid-19 vaccines. Pfizer / BioNTech, which has an mRNA vaccine similar to Moderna’s, and Oxford / AstraZeneca, using the viral factor method, are also in the process of developing fine-tuned vaccines against the South African variant B1351 and the Brazilian variant P1.
MODERNA ANNOUNCED THE FIRST RESULTS OF VACCINES DEVELOPED AGAINST VARIANTS
Moderna was the first company to announce its results in this process. The US company tested both an enhanced version of the standard Covid vaccine and a fine-tuned version of the vaccine that could be administered to people who had previously received a full double dose. Twenty people, 40 adults in total, were recruited for each phase of the trial.
Two weeks after the immunization of the volunteers, Moderna said that both the booster vaccine and the fine-tuned vaccine neutralized the two worrying variants and increased the amount of antibodies in the subjects’ blood.
FINE VACCINE PRODUCED MORE ANTIBODIES THAN REINFORCING VACCINE
However, the fine-tuned vaccine, called mRNA-1273,351, specifically designed to combat South African and Brazilian variants with similar mutations in the spike protein of the corona virus, produced higher levels of neutralizing antibodies than the standard booster shot, mRNA-1273.
Moderna also announced that it is conducting a clinical trial in which people were given a mixture of booster and variant-specific vaccine. The first results of the study in question are presented in a pre-print. Once the combined trial is complete, a peer review article will be published.
LIGHT SIDE EFFECTS OF NEW VACCINES
Moderna, on the other hand, said the new vaccines had few side effects and those reported were mild. The most commonly reported side effects other than pain at the injection site were reported as fatigue, headache, myalgia, and joint pain.
“We are determined to be vigilant as the virus develops as we try to overcome the ongoing epidemic, as we try to overcome the ongoing epidemic. These new data are encouraging us, reinforcing our confidence that our strengthening strategy must be protective against these newly detected variants.” It allows for the rapid design of vaccine candidates containing mutations and enables faster development of variant-matched alternative vaccines in the future, if needed. “We will continue to update as necessary for our Covid-19 vaccine to control the outbreak.”
DRUG REGULATORS: NO NEED FOR LARGE CLINICAL TRIALS FOR MUTATION VACCINES
On the other hand, Moderna’s new vaccines were not tested in the field, only evaluated on a small group of participants. However, regulatory authorities, including the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), have announced that vaccines developed against variants do not need to go through rigorous large-scale trials required for the original vaccines to gain emergency approval.
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