(E) Today is a good day! Pharmaceutical giant partner Pfizer announced today that the vaccine developed with its partner BioNTech, a bio-tech company located in Mainz in Germany, against the SARS-Cov-2 was more than 90% effective in preventing infection in volunteers. The vaccine uses messenger RNA, or mRNA, also developed by Moderna, to spark an immune response in people who are vaccinated.
In molecular biology, mRNA plays a vital role in human biology, specifically in a process known as protein synthesis. mRNA is a single-stranded molecule that carries genetic code from DNA in a cell’s nucleus to ribosomes, the cell’s protein-making machinery.
According to BioNTech its vaccine consists “of a short segment of genetic material, the mRNA, that provides instructions for a human cell to make a harmless version of a target protein, or immunogen, which activates the body’s immune response against the SARS-CoV-2 virus…the immune systems learns how to recognize the SARS-CoV-2 virus upon exposure and prevent subsequent infection. Unlike other vaccines, mRNA vaccines do not contain the virus itself and therefore pose no risk of infection. ”
The goal of mRNA “is to stimulate the immune system to generate protective, long-lasting antibody and T cell responses against SARS-CoV-2 and prevent subsequent infection upon exposure to the virus. mRNA vaccines are a potent new developmental class of vaccines with potential for high versatility and favourable safety properties.”
If regulatory authorization or approval is obtained, Pfizer and BioNTech expect to manufacture up to 100 million doses by the end of 2020, and potentially more than 1.3 billion doses by the end of 2021. The vaccine is the fruit of the research efforts of scientists Dr. Ugur Sahin and Ozlem Tureci who are leading BioNTech.
Dr. Sahin was interviewed on CNBC:
Other candidate vaccines that are expected to come to the market are:
In November 2020:
- “The virus: SARS-CoV-2“, BioNTech
- “mRNA vaccines to address the COVID-19 pandemic“, BioNTech
- “Understanding mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines“, CDC
- COVID-19 – Day 120: First Trial of COVID-19 Vaccine with Humans, A Silicon Valley Insider
Note 1: I updated that post on November 10th.
Note 2: The picture above is Ugur Sahin and Ozlem Tureci.
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Categories: Biology, Coronavirus