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mRNA COVID vaccines - general

Articles of interest:

  • How to mRNA vaccines work? How are they different from "traditional vaccines"?


    • COVID-19 mRNA vaccines give instructions for our cells to make a harmless piece of what is called the “spike protein.” The spike protein is found on the surface of the virus that causes COVID-19.

      • First, COVID-19 mRNA vaccines are given in the upper arm muscle. Once the instructions (mRNA) are inside the muscle cells, the cells use them to make the protein piece. After the protein piece is made, the cell breaks down the instructions and gets rid of them.

      • Next, the cell displays the protein piece on its surface. Our immune systems recognize that the protein doesn’t belong there and begin building an immune response and making antibodies, like what happens in natural infection against COVID-19.

      • At the end of the process, our bodies have learned how to protect against future infection. The benefit of mRNA vaccines, like all vaccines, is those vaccinated gain this protection without ever having to risk the serious consequences of getting sick with COVID-19.

  • The husband-and-wife team behind the leading vaccine to solve COVID-19. 10/Oct/20

  • Scientist behind COVID-19 mRNA vaccine says her team's next target is cancer  20/Mar/21

  • 20/Apr/21  This is a wonderful, interesting and informative interview of one of the 2 founders of BioNTech.



        • "Preventing the Next Pandemic With Uğur Şahin, BioNTech | WIRED Health"

          • By the end of 2019, BioNTech had developed mRNA technology to a point where they could develop a new vaccine for a new virus in 5 weeks.

          • In January 2020, based on a Lancet article about the COVID outbreak in Wuhan, Uğur could see that it (based on the 5 characteristics),  that it was likely to become a global pandemic.   And so they started working on the COVID vaccine in January 2020.

          • In March 2020, they contacted Pfizer to start work collaboratively.

          • In Europe, there will be a very rapid speed-up of vaccination rates through April May June so that by June, Europe will be able to vaccine 15-20million people per month - this will enable Europe to catch up with the vaccination rate in other countries.

          • BioNTech/Pfizer have now increased their 2021 target vaccine production levels from 1.3billion to 2.5billion (doses - though I think he is talking about full vaccinations which are 2 doses each) .... and they are working with CoVax to get vaccines out to the low and middle income countries. There is recognition that no-one will be safe from COVID until everyone is safe from COVID.

          • I think he is saying that when you take into account the vaccine ramp up by other companies, that there will be about 6billion doses of vaccine created in 2021, which will be enough vaccine to vaccinate everyone everywhere that needs a vaccine can get a vaccine. 

          • 15:20 "Do you have a strategy regarding the new variants?"  Uğur: "Yes, of course".  Boosters will be required. And the BioNTech can be re-calibrated in weeks to deal with new strains.

          • 16:35 "Beyond COVID, what is the potential for these (mRNA) vaccines long-term?"  Uğur's answer to this question is really interesting and worth listening to .... but cancer vaccines and much much more .... and much faster development and approvals of new mRNA treatments.

  • 29/Apr/21  Hard evidence of very high effectiveness of both mRNA vaccines - Pfizer and Moderna


Related articles:

    • 1/Apr/21 "Pfizer CEO says third Covid vaccine dose likely needed within 12 months".   

    • A likely scenario is that there will be likely a need for a third dose, somewhere between six and 12 months and then from there, there will be an annual revaccination, but all of that needs to be confirmed. And again, the variants will play a key role,” he told CNBC’s Bertha Coombs during an event with CVS Health.

    • Kessler told U.S. lawmakers that currently authorized vaccines are highly protective but noted new variants could “challenge” the effectiveness of the shots.

    • In February, Pfizer and BioNTech said they were testing a third dose of their Covid-19 vaccine to better understand the immune response against new variants of the virus.

    • Late last month, the National Institutes of Health started testing a new Covid vaccine from Moderna in addition to the one it already has, designed to protect against a problematic variant first found in South Africa.

    • Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel told CNBC on Wednesday that the company hopes to have a booster shot for its two-dose vaccine available in the fall. (Sept-Nov 2021)

210629_mRNA_vaccines_provide_durable_pro   1/July/21 

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