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New 2nd generation vaccine includes 2 Covid proteins for broader immune response

19 February 2021 5:48 PM
Tags:
UCT
COVID-19 vaccine

UCT is working with US scientists to target the spiked protein plus the nucleocapsid protein, the protein found inside the virus.

University of Cape Town (UCT) researchers are expected to start a phase one clinical trial of the Covid-19 vaccine candidate, hAd5 T-cell, later this month explains John Maytham.

Professor Graeme Meintjes of the Department of Medicine at UCT and a co-investigator on the trial talks to John about the research.

Meintjies explains what makes this vaccine different from others such as the Johnson&Johnson, AstraZeneca, and others that have come through clinical trials and are now being rolled out across the world.

This is a second-generation vaccine, and most of the vaccines we have been hearing about have one protein target.

Professor Graeme Meintjies, Co-investigator - Dept of Medicine, UCT

In those examples, one protein is taken from the SARS-CoV-2 virus and includes it in the vaccine and exposes the immune system to that, he explains.

In this vaccine, there are two proteins from the Covid virus, so by including two proteins you are getting a broader immune response. So, it is not just the spiked protein - it is the spiked protein plus the nucleocapsid protein, the protein found inside the virus.

Professor Graeme Meintjies, Co-investigator - Dept of Medicine, UCT

Why were both proteins not targeted in the original vaccine research, asks John?

Meintjies says he suspects it was the need for speed to get the vaccine ready, and also the virus has mutated faster than anticipated.

Listen to the interview in the audio below:




19 February 2021 5:48 PM
Tags:
UCT
COVID-19 vaccine

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