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UWI professor explains why COVID-19 vaccines were approved quickly

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With rising scepticism in regards to the fast approval of COVID-19 vaccines, Immunologist and Chairman of the University of the West Indies (UWI) COVID-19 activity power, Professor Clive Landis, has moved to clarify the rationale for the pace at which the vaccines are being approved.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given its approval of the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, ensuing within the launch of vaccine programmes within the United States and elements of Europe.

But with the introduction of the COVID-19 vaccines, comparisons have arisen concerning the size of time it took for earlier vaccines took to be developed.

Speaking at a presentation on vaccines and immunity throughout a vice-chancellor’s discussion board on COVID-19 vaccinations hosted by the UWI COVID-19 Task Force on Friday, Landis stated the vaccine creation course of for the present virus was completely different from with the earlier vaccines.

This, he stated, was as a result of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) supplied the chance to be start work early on an efficient vaccine.

“… and it ought to be famous that when individuals say ‘Gosh, these vaccines were created very quickly,’ effectively that is what these fashionable recombinant DNA and vaccines are in a position to do… They can transfer rather more quickly as a result of Oxford (University) had already made an antiviral vaccine in opposition to SARS in 2003; that is the coronavirus from 2003. Then it made one other vaccine from the coronavirus known as MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) in 2012,” he defined.

“So it was a very simple step when the sequence of this new coronavirus (called) COVID-19 was published on the ninth of January. It was just to take that sequence for the glycoprotein and just slot it in, and this is how they made their new vaccine so quickly,” Landis added.

He additionally defined that the COVID-19 vaccines were “inherently safe” as a result of “the original coronavirus, which has all the harmful bits, is no longer there. You only got the little spike you put into an empty vector virus.”

Meanwhile, Landis sought to make clear questions surrounding why a vaccine had not but been developed to fight the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), but one had been approved for COVID-19.

“… and simply in case anybody’s questioning, ‘So how come we were never able to make a vaccine against HIV,’ effectively my very own feeling is that we could by no means have the ability to make one as a result of HIV infects guess which cell? The CD4 T cell; the helper cell proper on the coronary heart of the immune response, which is required to create a vaccine response in opposition to it. So, fortunately, the coronavirus shouldn’t be like that.

“(For) the coronavirus… we develop superb T cell responses to them, and most immunologist are very assured that the vaccines might be efficient and, after all, within the publications now we have seen all over we will possibly spot the one from 1953 as effectively.

“We have seen that these are very effective vaccines up to 90 per cent successful,” Landis acknowledged.

According to Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Christopher Tufton, Jamaica is predicted to obtain its first cargo of the COVID-19 vaccine within the early a part of the New Year.

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