Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

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Vaccine Optimism

Progress in the development of vaccines against SARS-CoV2

05 August 2020

Vaccine Optimism

In case you hadn’t heard, SARS-CoV-2 is a menace. Around the world, it is destroying people’s lungs and lives. Here, it is pictured (purple) killing a patient’s cell (green). But while the virus is relentlessness, so too is the global effort to develop a vaccine. Indeed, more than 165 anti-SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidates are currently in various stages of preclinical and clinical testing. It's unknown which if any of these will be successful, but recently there has been a flurry of encouraging results. Several candidate vaccines have been found to be safe and to induce neutralising antibodies – immune factors that recognise and bind to the virus – and T cells – immune cells that kill virus-infected cells. There are of course still many unanswered questions, such as will any of the vaccines actually protect against infection and, if so, for how long. But, for now at least, signs are hopeful.

Read a selection of COVID-19 vaccine research papers recently published in The Lancet here: 1., 2. , 3.

Written by Ruth Williams

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