New York —
The drug is in charge of the Beijing Institute of Biotechnology and CanSino Biologics
Scientists of the Beijing Biotechnology Institute and Chinese pharmaceutical company CanSino Biologics have developed a vaccine against COVID-19 that generates antibodies and is “tolerable” in humans, according to an article published in the medical journal The Lancet that includes the methods and results obtained from his first experiment on people.
The drug it was tested in 108 healthy adults between 18 and 60 years of age who received low, medium or high doses by intramuscular injections. By day 14 post-application, the test subjects’ antibodies “increased significantly and peaked 28 days later.”
However, seven days after the application, some side effects, such as injection site pain, fever (in 46 percent of cases), fatigue (44 percent), headache (39 percent), and muscle pain (17 percent), which were accentuated in people who received the high dose of the vaccine. “Most of the adverse reactions that were reported in all dose groups were mild or moderate in severity. No serious adverse events were observed within 28 days after vaccination, “the researchers wrote.
This vaccine uses an adenovirus vector, that is, the pathogen that causes the common cold, but weakened and modified so that, once inside the body, it generates a new coronavirus protein that the immune system itself will later fight. Most of the volunteers produced T-type immune cells, which attack the coronavirus.
In conclusion, we found that the vectorized Ad5 COVID-19 vaccine is tolerable and immunogenic in healthy adults“The developers say, but it requires even more research work and, in particular, more testing. The next phase of experimentation will recruit 500 volunteers, including individuals over the age of 60.
Experts express their doubts
Despite the announcement of this development, some experts are skeptical. The doctor Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, told CNN that the side effects of this vectorized vaccine “are not a good safety signal” and the immune response described in the article is not as strong, so the results “are not impressive.”
Offit hinted that, with those conclusions, development of this vaccine “should stop.” “I have to believe there are other candidates out there who will do better.”, the doctor, who has already participated in the successful development of a rotavirus vaccine, told the publication.
So the results obtained in China should be taken with caution and with the awareness that having a vaccine against COVID-19 of public access will be a process that will take several more months.