May 7, 2020

New ‘genetic code’ coronavirus vaccine in the works

HOUSTON – There is promising news in the fight against the coronavirus, according to researchers. Clinical trials are now underway on a new vaccine.

Researchers at Pfizer and NYU are now working on a unique vaccine and the development is moving at a rapid pace.

“It was just in January that the viral sequence was first published. Here we are less than four months later and we are launching a trial here in the United States,” said Dr. Mark Mulligan, NYU Infectious Disease chief.

How genetic code vaccine works

Here is what makes this potential coronavirus vaccine different.

The vaccine carries the genetic code known as “messenger RNA” that teaches the cells in the body to make the proteins associated with the coronavirus, but without making someone sick. The hope is that the body’s immune system can then fight off COVID-19 after getting the vaccine.

NBC News got an exclusive look inside the lab where the testing is underway.

Dr. Peter Hotez, who is developing a vaccine himself, says this type of vaccine has had success in animal trials but never in humans. He thinks Pfizer is rushing it.

“We shouldn’t have magical thinking that we’re going to have a vaccine in a matter of weeks or months,” said Dr. Peter Hotez, Baylor College of Medicine.

Right now there are around 80 possible vaccinations being worked on around the world. No genetic code vaccine has ever made it to market before but Pfizer is hoping there’s will by September.

Drug trials underway too

Despite what you may have heard, right now there is no drug that specifically treats coronavirus. Around the world, night and day scientists are on the hunt for COVID-19 treatments, including the researchers at Texas A&M.

Dr. Wenshe Liu and his team at Texas A&M University are in the process of developing two new drugs they hope will treat the virus that’s wreaking havoc around the world.

Copyright 2020 by KPRC Click2Houston – All rights reserved.

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