Although the consequences of the health crisis are dramatic, they are accelerating medical research. The emergency approval that has now been granted for the ZyCoV-D covid vaccine is an absolute novelty in the world and is being treated by participating scientists as a real turning point in the fight against coronavirus.
The genetic material breaks down quickly
DNA vaccines are not only simpler and significantly cheaper to produce than other vaccines, they are also considered to be very stable and can be adapted quickly in the event of pathogen mutations. Another advantage is that foreign genetic material is broken down relatively quickly in the body and does not remain in the body for a long time.
Of course, the idea of such a vaccine is not entirely new. Research has been going on for some time and the first approval in veterinary medicine was granted in 2019. However, consent to the use of such substances in humans has long been awaited – so far.
Well tolerated and safe
The vaccine from Zydus Cadila pharmaceutical company consists of three doses, all given without needles. Instead, a special injection system is used that uses fluid to deliver the vaccine to the tissue. Clinical studies published in the journal Lancet indicate very good tolerability and a high level of safety. The Indian Health Authority confirms that vaccination is effective at 66.6 percent and is approved in India for twelve to 18-year-olds.
Their mode of action is similar to that of mRNA vaccines already in use. It is a gene-based agent that provides cells in the body with a genetic “plan” for the production of antibodies to coronavirus. In the event of an infection, the immune system is adequately prepared and can prevent the infection.
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No change in DNA
However, the term “DNA” acts like a scarecrow to many people. However, one important scientific finding in this regard clarifies: DNA vaccines do not alter genetic makeup. Although their structure corresponds to the structure of human DNA, they are not incorporated into our genome – even with numerous uses in animals, no evidence of such a process has been found so far.
Other pharmaceutical companies are already doing research with this technology. DNA vaccines are currently being developed against approximately 20 diseases, including influenza, HIV, hepatitis B and C, and cervical cancer.