The pharmaceutical industry is already working on a “second generation” of vaccines

Pfizer and Moderna are working on new vaccines that work better against variants. A “second generation” vaccine is being facilitated by the messenger RNA technique used by the testers.

The Covid Moderna vaccine is one of two vaccines on the market that use messenger RNA technology. © AFP / Angela Weiss

In this pandemic, we know that the greater the spread of the coronavirus, the greater the risk of seeing the variant multiplying. The vaccines on the market, which were developed on the basis of the original virus, are today universally effective against the English variant, but are slightly less effective against the variants. South Africa And the Brazilian. As for the Indians, we do not know yet. Therefore, to counter a potential vaccine “escape”, which would nullify all efforts, manufacturers are already adapting and working on a second “generation” of Covid vaccines, in this race, an advantage for vaccines developed on the basis of messenger RNA.

To be neutralized, the South African variant, for example, requires a higher concentration of antibodies than the original virus or the British variant. So very logically, Manufacturers quickly considered the hypothesis of the third dose, Kind of a reminder, as is the case with many vaccines against other viruses, which would “reactivate” our immune system and raise our level of antibodies several months after vaccination.

Pfizer and Moderna technical advantage

Pfizer is working on it, as is our Moderna. But the latter company has gone further and is also working on a third dose specifically targeting the South African variant. Easy, with RNA technology (used by Pfizer and Moderna), which lets you do just that You only need a few weeks to adjust. The technique does not change: instead of injecting the RNA sequence that will lead cells to encode the original virus, we inject the virus that codes for mutations of the South African variant, or even the Brazilian, Indian or California mutations. .

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Then the body produces antibodies specific to these variants. And if this is still an experimental phase, there is every reason to believe it will be effective. We can, too It combines many RNAs, and thus several variants, On the same syringe, so you have multiple targets on the same booster.

Contacted by France Inter, a virologist testifies elsewhere and says to himself “Somewhat confident” Because, compared to other viruses, Sars-Cov-2 does not mutate so quickly and The adaptability of RNA vaccines should enable us to win the race In the face of variables.

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