U.S. plans massive coronavirus vaccine testing effort to meet year-end deadline
Tastes have been on the hunt for something that could shut this virus down and give us our lives back. A vaccine. A few months ago, there was a lot of excitement. As the very first clinical trials for the coronavirus began, it was in time. The search for coronavirus vaccine has become one of the fastest moving in history. That scenes usually take years not months to produce. This is happening warp speed. Never before hundreds of scientists are over the world and focused on the same thing at the same time creating a vaccine for covid nineteen. And more and more vaccine candidates are entering the fray. Were at the point, where around a dozen clinical trials are on the go. Hundreds of people volunteered for jab in the arm to test old kinds of different vaccines. As part of this scientists are taking some be gambles. The vaccine were looking at is incredibly modern type vaccine. It's not the traditional way building a vaccine, so we're going as fast as humanly possible. Many of them are not traditionally vaccine companies. They are using novel ideas from oncology things. They've learned treating cancer. It's never been used in a vaccine before. And if one of these gambles payoff, it could be huge, we could get a vaccine soon. The US government says that the goal is to get a vaccine to Americans by January twenty twenty one. They're calling this nation warp speed. And if it could be done, this would be unprecedented. So could we really be celebrating twenty one with Champagne and shot in the arm to fight the coronavirus? And? What would it take to make that happen? That's Today on the show. Because when it comes to getting a vaccine, it feels like this is happening at warp speed, but then there's. Science. Scientist is when on Earth Are we getting? This vaccine is coming up to stop to the break. This episode of science versus is sponsored by Phillips Sonacare the electric toothbrush that combines decades of science and engineering to master the art of brushing with sixty two thousand brushstrokes minute you've got a month's worth of brushing in just two minutes for better checkups, guaranteed or your money back visit Phillips. Dot Com slash sonacare. This episode of science versus is brought to you by AFLAC. That lovable duct does more than just say. AFLAC access a safety net when the unexpected happens by helping with the expenses. That health insurance doesn't cover. Get to know them at half dot com. Welcome back. So back in January. We had from people like Anthony Fauci that we could get a vaccine in twelve to eighteen months. That could mean early next year. And in the land of vaccines, these would be record breaking. It often takes something like ten years for a vaccine to from the lab to the doctor's office. So can we really do it? Get Out of this pandemic by January, before Santa even catches these brands. Well to get them labs. All around the world s around experimenting with different kinds of vaccines. But they all have the same goal to train our immune system to recognize and killed this coronavirus. And to do that, many vaccine developers have homed in on one thing. Progress. And northwestern told us all about it. If you think about the picture that you've seen corona virus like everywhere, and it looks like a ball with little points coming out. Those points the spike. Spike protein you know it, I, know it. It's the most famous spikes in Spike Lee and the most famous protein since. College Eddie right. This spike is so important because it's a major thing that tells our body weight this virus. It doesn't belong here. That actually is what argue system fees most readily. It sees the spike. After our meeting system sees the spike. It lends to recognize quickly. Respond to it by creating things like antibodies to fight it, and then some of those antibodies hang around so that if the virus shows up, then the virus will just be cleared away by our immune system. So that the next time we see that disease, we don't get sick in the first place, so if you making Exane, how do you get your immune system to quickly recognized this spike? Well, one way is that scientists can take rhinovirus and then make less dangerous. Say They Kill the virus most comedy vaccines are made by growing up the virus. And inactivating that virus sometimes with the chemical, sometimes the heat, and then that is then injected. An otherwise scientists can do this version of the virus. That's too weak to make you sick. And this is how we make a lot of vaccines familiar with things like the measles and chickenpox and flu vaccines. It's tried and tested. We know it can work and some companies are going this way to try to make Alka, rhinovirus vaccine. But other groups at. This meat and potatoes vaccine method they using new attack more experimental ways of building vaccine. And these experimental methods getting a ton of attention and funding right now, because governments and big. Pharma hoping they'll deliver the goods pasta. So for they use instead of giving you a whole coronavirus, these vaccines, basically using genetic material from the coronavirus, and then they're plopping that into your body. And scientists have chosen a very particular piece of genetic material spike. It's the recipe for the spike, protein. And this can come in a couple of forms. One is called. Our body will see that as a normal M Arnie and just translate into a pro team. Wow, so this. If this vaccine works, it would encourage your body to make little corona virus proteins. Yes that's that's the idea. Wow, that seems so futuristic. As as is, that's really cool right, so you're getting the body degenerate that protein for you yet, so these spike proteins that your body has made will then be floating around and the idea. Is that your immune system? We'll see it. Make antibodies send Ta. You'll have immunity. And many of the vaccines in this race, delivering this genetic material to us in different ways, so some shopping Marin into a ball of fat, so that your cells will slip up while other groups trying to smuggle in that code using get this a totally different virus one. That weren't hurt you. Is it fantasy that they've taken a different virus? And then they're like like Halloween the dressing at all like the corona virus, yes. Say. So this all sounds a little bunk is mad. The question is will it really work that is. Will these vaccines protectiveness if we get exposed to the coronavirus? Because if they don't. Like on a useless. My boss is to stay if it's just dishwater that you're not gonNA get anywhere. This is Katie Stevenson. She's a doctor working on vaccine development at Harvard and she says that one of the key ways will know if a vaccine is working is if it makes you produce antibodies. And she's looking for not just any antibodies. But neutralizing antibodies, what what is a neutralizing antibodies? So a neutralizing antibody is an antibody that binds to virus and neutralizes it. This is the dream right? Yeah, exactly right inches binds to the virus and prevent it from entering a cell. So the body sees that and just thrown in the garbage to this is what Katie is going to be looking for. In the results of all these clinical trials, and if she doesn't see these neutralizing antibodies, shelby thinking well, that was kind of done. And Katie says I dealing see a lot of these. So! What's a lot? Well you measure milk leases. Okay so I've measure milk. And you can measure antibodies titus. So one study, which looked at people who had been infected with this virus, and then recovered found the antibody. Titus tended to be at least one hundred. And when Katie's colleague vaccinated monkeys with an experimental vaccine, they found that having similar antibody Tom of one hundred protected them from getting infected. So while we're still learning a lot, he all I have been kind of looking for one one hundred. Okay, that's it's nice, poetic, great one hundred yeah! We have a handful of results that companies have released from different clinical trials, but just one paper that's published in a peer review gentle. It was from a Chinese local company who injected more than one hundred people with one of those new fandango vaccines and it was back in March. They tested three different doses. And Katie says they didn't get. This antibody tighter. Like at the highest dose averaged around Bootie for you know I was a little bit disappointed, so a little bit reserved I'm happy that it elicited an immune response because that's not a given. Sometimes, it's just zero zero zero but I would've liked to see something closer to like one hundred another company. Medina injected forty five people back in March with the vaccine, and they said that eight people had good levels of neutralizing antibodies. But they didn't tell us about the opposite in the trial. When we asked dinner about this, we didn't hear back to Katie is holding out for more info. Yeah, I just wanted to see the rest because it is immune. A- promising I'd put promising right on there. But I do not know which one of these is GonNa work if any, and that that is the actual fact truth so I try not to stray from that, and there are other FAC truths to nail down him. Even if these vaccines do make you produce produces, antibodies will still have to make absolutely short that you'll protected from the corona virus. If you do get exposed, and then if you protected, we'll have to work out how long four so you might need. More than one shot of the vaccine say a booster shot in a or so.