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A new generation of COVID-19 vaccines will arrive in 2023


Inhalable vaccine against Covid-19

October 8, 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic is far from being the great global health tragedy that it was during 2020, 2021 and the beginning of 2022. The stage in which all that remains is to learn to live with the virus has finally arrived and to achieve it many countries understand that a new generation of vaccines against COVID-19 is necessary.

What is the next generation of COVID-19 vaccines all about?

Three of the strategies are based around these issues:

  1. Specific formulas to slow down the most current variants of the coronavirus.
  2. New routes of administration to obtain a sterilizing effect.
  3. In the case of Argentina, progress is being made with its own vaccine based on a different platform from those used in the country, which could begin to be applied in the second quarter of 2023.

However, experts from the Pan American Health Organization say that there is no point in having new vaccines, if the population is not interested in getting them. This is also one of the new challenges at this stage of the pandemic.

Specific vaccines against Omicron

The US, the UK, Canada, Germany and Taiwan have already approved the use of vaccines specifically designed to fight Omicron lineages. The new formulas belong to the Pfizer and Moderna laboratories.

They are bivalent reinforcements, which combine the original formulation plus another specific one against a subvariant of Omicron. In the USA they settled on BA.5, today the dominant sublineage worldwide. In Germany and the United Kingdom they opted for BA.1, the first version of Ómicron.

Vaccines designed from the original coronavirus continue to offer good protection against hospitalization and death from COVID-19, but their effectiveness in preventing infection or milder conditions has declined greatly as the virus has evolved.

The new formulations aim to improve this effectiveness and may also be an incentive for people to return to the vaccination centers to get their boosters. Coverage levels for third and fourth doses globally are very low.

Bivalent vaccines for America?

Marcos Espinal, director of PAHO’s Department of Communicable Diseases, believes that the priority should not be to update the vaccine formula, but to increase coverage.

“We still have countries in the region with less than 40% coverage with the primary schemes. We don’t do anything with new vaccines, if we don’t make sure to immunize those who are not vaccinated and we don’t educate the population about the benefits of these vaccines”, he commented at the PAHO information meeting on September 7.

Espinal believes that the coronavirus may behave similar to the flu, so it is likely that we will need to get vaccinated every year. “But we have not yet come out of the pandemic. And we continue to see mortality. Then, the most important thing is not to buy a new vaccine, but to make sure we apply the ones we have”, he indicated.

Inhalable or intranasal vaccines against COVID-19

Other countries chose to approve non-injectable vaccines. China authorized the use of the inhaled version of Cansino’s formula, the single-dose injectable version of which is used in Argentina. Confidence Air it is applied by nebulization, so it turns the vaccine liquid into an aerosol that is inhaled by mouth.

The studies published in The Lancet indicated several notable positive aspects of the inhalable vaccine:

  • This formula induces humoral (neutralizing antibodies) and cellular (T and B lymphocytes or white blood cells) immunity
  • Also the non-injectable vaccine induces the mucosal immunitywhich is not as strong after applying the injectable versions.

As a booster, the inhalable vaccine mimics a natural virus infection and stimulates the immunity of the respiratory mucosa. These defenses reduce the chances that people will directly become infected and spread the virus. They would be sterilizing vaccines.

For its part, India approved an intranasal vaccine from the Bharat company, which also stimulates mucosal immunity. Other countries that have approved nasal vaccines are Iran and Russia, with their nasal version of Sputnik V. For none of these cases are known data from phase 3 clinical trials, which allow to demonstrate effectiveness in real life, warn from the magazine Nature.

The Argentine vaccine against Covid-19: Arvac

Meanwhile, the Argentine Government is promoting the development of the national vaccine Arvac, born from the laboratory of Juliana Cassataro, from the National University of San Martín i Conicet. and linked to the company Cassará.

Unsam team that developed the Argentinian vaccine against the Arvac coronavirus

UNSAM team, which developed the Argentinian vaccine against the Arvac coronavirus

They have already presented the results of phase 1, which confirm that it is safe. “In addition, it was verified that it manages to inhibit different variants of the coronavirus. The documentation to move forward with phase 2-3 has already been submitted”, explained Fernando Peirano, president of the National Agency for the Promotion of Research, Technological Development and Innovation.

In the new phase, its effectiveness as reinforcement will be tested on 2,000 to 3,000 volunteers. The goal is for it to be equal to or superior to other formulas already available. “It is not usual to go at this speed and achieve such good results. The requirements no longer seem to be in the scientific field, but in the regulatory and organizational aspects”, commented Peirano.

Cassará committed to start producing the vaccine simultaneously with phase 3, because they are betting that it will be approved. Peirano hopes that it can already be applied from the second quarter of 2023.

Arvac is a recombinant protein vaccine, technology used in immunizations against hepatitis B and the human papilloma virus. Formula can be stored at refrigerator temperature. The offer of vaccines in Argentina does not include this type of platform.

By Lucas Viano @LucasViano
EDITORIAL THINK HEALTHY
redaccion@pensarsalud.com.ar Write to us!

Tags: combination of vaccines | confidence air | covid and strains | covid and mutations | covid and treatments-vaccines | mucosal immunity | Juliana Cassataro | new vaccines against the coronavirus | Argentine vaccine against the coronavirus | Arvac vaccine | inhalable vaccine | intranasal vaccine | non-injectable vaccine | nebulization vaccine | vaccines against the coronavirus

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