Farmscape for August 5, 2020
The Director and CEO of VIDO-InterVac says everything possible is being done to fast track the development of an effective COVID-19 vaccine.
Researchers with VIDO-InterVac, the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization have developed a subunit vaccine for COVID-19 that's been shown effective in ferrets.
In coordination with Health Canada the vaccine is now undergoing testing in animals to demonstrate its safety for humans and it's hoped human testing can begin in the fall.
VIDO-InterVac Director and CEO Dr. Volker Gerdts says the vaccine works really well.
Clip-Dr. Volker Gerdts-VIDO-InterVac:
It works by injecting it, at the moment at least, into the muscle.
We are thinking about also having potentially a vaccine that could be given intranasally but, for the moment, what we're developing is a vaccine that is going intramuscularly.
We know that it induces good antibodies.
These are antibodies that are produced by the immune system to neutralize the virus before it has a chance to get into the cells, into the host.
What we are looking for in particular are these neutralizing antibodies and we know from our proof of concept studies that we are getting very good neutralizing antibody responses.
Then, through the addition of adjuvants, we are also activating T-cell responses and there's more and more evidence that suggests that for this COVID-19 you have to have a combination of effective T-cell immunity as well as these neutralizing antibodies.
I think we are on a great track here with our vaccine candidate in terms of inducing the right type of immune response to it.
Dr. Gerdts says, as the pandemic continues to spread around the world and people are dying, every effort is being made at every opportunity to fast track the development of vaccines.
He says, until we have a vaccine, we have to mostly depend on public health guidelines, wearing masks, social distancing, no gatherings, hand washing and so on.
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