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Vaccines for COVID-19



The hardship that scientists confront now is that so far, no one has been able to create an efficient vaccine against a human coronavirus. Scientists know from earlier attempts to acquire a SARS vaccine, that coronaviruses appear to be able to sometimes “disturb” the immune system. It means our bodies create antibodies that strike the wrong parts of the virus, instead of the critical forms that the virus utilizes to break into cells and circulate. Scientists believe that this may be why some cases of COVID-19 can quickly become so harsh. The immune system gets off track along with non-defensive antibodies to help the virus circulate across the body. As a result, scientists must be cautious that any vaccine is not also presenting the immune system “diversions” of the virus. Scientists realized that through tests of one botched SARS vaccine, antibodies that were primarily thought helpful for the virus, instead swiftly triggered a very serious case of the disease when the immunized animals were tested with contagious SARS virus. In the case of COVID-19, scientists are pursuing a spike on the surface of the virus that behaves like a sort of spring-loaded box-opener that it utilizes to pierce and dump the payload of virus genes into cells. Once inside, it can take over the cell’s genetic coding and replicate itself whilst disappearing from the immune system. Scientists aim to create what are called ‘neutralizing’ antibodies that avoid the ‘popping’ of the virus’ entry-machinery. These antibodies are generated by the immune system only in response to this original spike structure, so they think that the antibodies will be adapted enough to consistently assault, or counteract, the virus right where they want.

Source: https://pursuit.unimelb.edu.au/articles/the-science-behind-the-search-for-a-covid-19-vaccine

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