The biggest challenge facing countries and drug manufacturers appears to be adapting vaccines to the mutated versions of Corona and addressing the infection as much as possible through vaccination campaigns that seem to be prolonged, especially in light of the difficulty of dealing with this health crisis.
If these new vaccines become a reality, they will be used, at least in Europe and the United States, on people who have received current vaccines
And questions about whether the types of anti-Covid-19 vaccines that have been produced so far are doomed to lose their effectiveness quickly in the face of mutated versions of the Corona virus, some emerging companies in order to develop vaccines that may be effective for years and maybe much more, despite the fact that Prospects for achieving this remain unclear.
Until the moment, the difference in vaccines did not make a difference in the final elimination of Corona, and with the emergence of rapidly spreading mutated strains, the world has become facing a greater challenge related to confronting the virus and surrounding it so that it cannot transmit from one person to another.
And last month, a study published in the Lancet Infectious Diseases journal showed that a highly contagious mutated strain of Corona virus that was first discovered in Britain does not cause more severe symptoms in hospitalized patients, but the strains that appeared in South Africa appear to be more dangerous. The strains that have appeared in India are also much more dangerous.
And in an attempt by several vaccine manufacturers, Alexis Berolles, director of OSE Immunotirabiotics, said, commenting on a project to develop a vaccine that this French start-up has started its first clinical trials on, “The vaccine may provide protection for years.”
The promise made by Perolis is a vaccine that combats the emergence of new mutated versions, which differ from those against which the first vaccines were developed. This is one of the currently unknown points of the epidemic, and from here specialists are discussing the question to what extent will the vaccines that are currently being used as US Pfizer vaccines remain effective when these mutated copies multiply?
Julian Tang: Adopting technology to develop vaccines is a double-edged sword
It is clear that the vaccines produced so far are still effective, but the president of Pfizer himself Albert Burla recently considered that he would likely have to renew his vaccine dose annually so that it is up to date.
Faced with this challenge, biotechnology companies adopt a path different from the current vaccines, as they seek to stimulate first the T-lymphocytes, which is part of the immune response that focuses on monitoring and eliminating virus-infected cells and not on the virus itself.
On the other hand, the vaccines used first aim to produce antibodies that recognize and destroy the virus directly before it infects a cell. This does not mean that these vaccines do not stimulate any T-cell response – first data is somewhat encouraging – but they are not the priority component of treatment.
However, T lymphocytes theoretically have several advantages over antibodies, as they can survive longer in the body and respond to components of the virus that are much less likely to mutate than those detected by antibodies.
In France, OSE Immunoterbiotics and its competitor Osifax are tracking in Lyon, and its use is considered a “global” vaccine, and the “T response” track reflects that it is ready to respond to any potential mutant. The two companies have received millions of euros in funding from the French government, while Paris was late in developing an anti-Coronavirus vaccine.
These projects are rare due to the lack of laboratories that believe in a universal vaccine. Of the nearly 400 projects to develop a vaccine against Covid-19 that are counted by the World Health Organization, few adopt this principle. The most advanced is the US-based Emunity Bio project, which last month published somewhat encouraging results but is still in its infancy.
However, the effectiveness of these vaccines remains uncertain. None of the companies involved have made promises to develop such a vaccine before next year, and many scientists doubt that this approach will work. Some question whether seeking to respond in advance to the emergence of new strains in the future, is delusional.
British virologist Julian Tang warns that “when there is a mass vaccination, it is in itself.” Pressure may lead to the development of the virus to escape from the vaccine, whatever it is. He saw the development of such vaccines as a “double-edged sword.”
The other big question is to what extent our bodies would fight the virus if we set its response with T lymphocytes. Hence, the French virologist Yves Godin says that he has doubts about the effectiveness of such a vaccine.
With the emergence of rapidly spreading mutated strains, the world is facing a greater challenge related to confronting and surrounding the virus so that it cannot be transmitted from one person to another.
Lymphocytes and antibodies work together. Godin says that if the antibody response is not good, the T-lymphocytes “will not be of great benefit,” stressing that the ideal vaccine is an effective vaccine on both levels.
But if these new vaccines become a reality, they will be used, at least in Europe and the United States, on people who have received current vaccines. So these antibodies will be ready.
This is the argument used by Perolis to ensure that his vaccine, by obtaining positive results, will begin to be used, saying that “this vaccine will complete and expand the defense developed thanks to the initial vaccines.” And he confirms that such a vaccine will provide protection for individuals who find it difficult to develop antibodies in a normal form, for example patients with cancer and diabetes.