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Popularization of research advances on COVID-19

Vaccines

A vaccine adapted to fight the Beta variant tested on animals

The reasons for the continuation of the pandemic include insufficient vaccination coverage, the weakening of antibody protection over time, and the emergence of variants of concern (VOCs) that are more resistant and that have increased transmissibility. Moderna has recently produced a vaccine (mRNA-1273.β)  “tweaked” to adapt to the Beta (South African) variant, one of the […]

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Hybrid immunity is more effective than vaccination alone

The link between a strong neutralising antibody response and protection against infection by the virus has been clearly demonstrated. This is why more than 6 billion doses of the vaccine have been given in an attempt to control the pandemic. But the vaccines have been developed from the spike protein of the original Wuhan strain, […]

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Long-term immune response induced by mRNA vaccines

Attaining herd immunity, whether by infection or by vaccination, is necessary to control the pandemic while SARS-CoV-2 continues to circulate. Different vaccines have been available for several months now, notably the mRNA vaccines. These vaccines encode the spike surface protein of the original Wuhan strain and have been widely administered throughout the world. They are […]

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Delaying injection of the second dose makes the vaccine more effective

In December 2020, the UK changed its vaccine administration regime for Pfizer-BioNTech and Astrazeneca by spacing the injections at more than 12 weeks instead of the usual 4. The intention was to accelerate vaccine coverage in the population with a single dose, so as to limit the incidence of severe cases of COVID-19. This policy […]

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Basic research and its importance in the development of vaccines

The aim of vaccines is to prevent death or invalidity caused by a pathogenic agent. Their development is long and difficult, in the main because they must be able to be given safely to people in good health. This is why vaccines do not exist against the majority of diseases. However, though it takes on […]

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Do montetary incentives to be vaccinated work?

Safe and effective vaccines to protect against serious forms of COVID-19 are now available. But slow up-take and low levels of vaccine coverage are dangerous for public health. Developed countries are struggling to achieve more than 70% coverage of the population vaccinated. Some governments have put financial incentive schemes in place to encourage individuals to […]

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The evolution of immunity after vaccination

Infection by SARS-CoV-2 produces B cell responses that express powerful antibodies against the virus. The B cells evolve for at least a year after infection. During this evolution, the effectiveness of the antibodies produced increases, making them notably more potent against emerging variants. Vaccination is different from natural infection (path of virus administration, nature and […]

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The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is more effective after natural infection

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is an adenovirus vectored vaccine expressing the spike protein of the Wuhan ancestral strain. It has 85% efficacy against severe forms of the disease and is administered in a single dose. It is helpful for countries with difficulties accessing vaccines. However, while we know that a supplementary dose of an […]

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A 3rd dose of the vaccine improves protection

Israel initiated a massive vaccination campaign against SARS-CoV-2 very early on in the outbreak. More than half of the population had been fully vaccinated (2 doses) by the end of March 2021. Incidence fell from 900 cases per million inhabitants per day in mid-January, to less than 2 by June 2021. However, the emergence of […]

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Katalin Kariko and Drew Weissman: pioneers of messanger RNA vaccines

Since March 2020, the entire world has been destabilised by the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of the extraordinarily rapid development of the production and distribution of vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 (although geographically unequal) the  world sees hope that we might be able to resolve this crisis just 15 months after the beginning of the pandemic. Two vaccines […]

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