Dozens of Americans roll balloons to get third dose of COVID-19 vaccine This time the footage was corrected to avoid a disturbing mutation in the virus.
Do not make a mistake. Vaccines currently available in the United States offer strong protection. But new studies of experimental updates to Moderna և Pfizer vaccines are a crucial first step toward an alternative if the virus eventually outperforms today’s shooting.
“We need to get ahead of the virus,” said Dr. Nadine Ruffel of Emory University, who is helping to study Moderna’s modified candidate. “We know what it’s like when we fall behind.”
It is unclear when the defense is weakening enough to require an update, but “realistically we want to make COVID suffocate,” he added.
Viruses are constantly evolving, the world is racing to vaccinate millions, infecting the coronavirus, until more mutants emerge. More than 119 million Americans have received at least one dose of the vaccine, and 22% of the population is fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most of the world is lagging behind that pace.
The easier-to-find version, discovered in the UK a few months ago, has become the most popular version now available in the US, which is fortunately preventable with vaccines.
But there is a global concern that first-generation vaccines may provide less protection against another version that first appeared in South Africa. All major vaccine manufacturers correct their prescriptions if an update to the so-called B.1.351 virus is needed. Test doses of Moderna որ Pfizer are currently being tested.
In a suburb of Atlanta, Emory asked people who received the original Moderna vaccine a year ago during a first-phase study to also help test the updated shot. Volunteer Cole Smith said returning is not a difficult decision.
“It used to be a huge success, you know, millions of people are being vaccinated now,” Smith told The Associated Press. “If we help people suffering from the old, why not volunteer to help people in the new?”
The study, funded by the National Institutes of Health, simply does not test Moderna’s various experimental vaccines as a third-shot immunity. Researchers at Emory և three other medical centers are also involving volunteers who have not yet received the COVID-19 vaccine.
They want to know. Can people be vaccinated with two different doses of the vaccine than the original? Or one dose for each type? Or even get the original and the dose of the combination in the same injection.
Separately, the Food and Drug Administration has authorized Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech to begin similar trials of their own refined vaccines. The companies called it part of an initiative strategy to allow the rapid deployment of updated vaccines if they are ever needed.
Moderna և Pfizer vaccines, like most COVID-19 vaccines used around the world, train the body to recognize the cortical protein, which is the outer layer of the coronavirus. These concepts are how the virus crawls into human cells.
Mutations occur when a virus copies itself. These mistakes usually make no difference. But if too many changes accumulate in the spinal cord protein, or those changes occur in particularly sensitive areas, the mutant may avoid the immune system, which was previously viewed as a slightly different-looking invader.
Good news. Moderna և Pfizer vaccines are quite easy to update. They are made from a piece of genetic code called magnet RNA, which tells the body how to make samples of several harmless spikes, which in turn train immune cells. The companies simply changed the genetic code of the original vaccine to mRNA for the mutated stem protein.
This month’s study involved several hundred people, very different from the mass testing required to operate the original footage. Scientists need to make sure that mRNA replacement does not cause any side effects.
On the defense side, they are closely monitoring whether the updated vaccine pushes the immune system to produce antibodies that prevent infection, just as strongly as initial shots do. Laboratory tests may also show whether these antibodies recognize not only the South African variant but also more common viral variants.
Some good news. Antibodies are not the only defense. NIH researchers recently studied another part of the immune system, T cells, which react after the infection has penetrated. Laboratory tests have shown that T cells in the blood of humans who recovered long before COVID-19 before the disturbing variants appeared were still known mutations from South Africa. Vaccines also stimulate the production of T cells և may be key to preventing the worst results.
However, no vaccine is 100% effective. Even without the threat of mutation, sometimes fully vaccinated people will receive COVID-19. So how do the authorities know that an upgrade is needed? The red flag will be a leap in hospitals, not just positive tests for vaccinated people who are keeping a new mutant.
“It was then that you crossed the border. That’s when you talk about the second-generation vaccine, “said Paul Ofit, PhD in Philadelphia Children’s Hospital. “We have not crossed that border yet, but we can.”
Associated Press reporter Ron Harris contributed to this report in Atlanta.
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