Although the consequences of the health crisis are tragic, it is accelerating medical research. The emergency approval now given for the ZyCoV-D coronavirus vaccine is an absolute novelty in the world and is being treated by the participating scientists as a real turning point in the fight against the coronavirus.
Genetic material disintegrates rapidly
DNA vaccines are not only simpler and cheaper to produce than other vaccines, they are also very stable and can be quickly adapted in the event of disease-causing mutations. Another advantage is that the foreign genetic material degrades 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, approval for the use of such substances in humans has been long overdue – until now.
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Well tolerated and safe
The vaccine from Zydus Cadila Pharmaceuticals consists of three doses, all given without needles. Instead, a special injection system that uses fluids to deliver the vaccine into the tissue is used. Clinical studies published in the Lancet indicate very good tolerability and a high level of safety. The Indian Health Authority asserts that the vaccination is 66.6 per cent effective and that it has been approved in India for those aged 12-18 years.
Its mode of action is similar to that used in mRNA vaccines already. It is a genetic factor that provides cells in the body with a genetic “plan” to produce antibodies to the coronavirus. If an infection occurs, the immune system is sufficiently prepared and can prevent infection.
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No change in DNA
However, the term “DNA” acts like a scarecrow to many people. However, an important scientific discovery in this regard makes it clear: DNA vaccines do not change genetic makeup. Although its structure corresponds to that of human DNA, it is not incorporated into our genome – even with its many uses in animals, evidence of such a process has not yet been found.
Other pharmaceutical companies are already doing research using this technology. DNA vaccines are currently being developed against nearly 20 diseases, including influenza, HIV, hepatitis B and C, and cervical cancer.
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