Imperial College Vaccine Technology
First trial of a new COVID-19 vaccine technology has been successful.
18:00 06 July 2021
Scientists at Imperial College London have confirmed that the first trial of a new COVID-19 vaccine technology has been a success. The data shows no short-term safety concerns and suggests that the technology can generate immune responses against COVID-19 in up to 87per cent of people.
The technology uses a genetic code to make a "spike protein" outside of the coronavirus. Once injected into the arm, the cell enables the immune system to generate defences against the virus.
Professor Robin Shattock, who leads Imperial’s COVID-19 vaccine project, said: “Global demand for COVID-19 vaccines will remain high in the coming decade, given the emergence of lethal SARS-CoV-2 escape-variants, and expected requirement for booster vaccination. We have shown the saRNA technology is safe and can generate an immune response. We are now refining the Imperial saRNA platform to develop vaccines for a variety of other infectious diseases."
“The approach is emerging as one of the great scientific advances of the pandemic, with the ultra-low dose offering three key advantages. The first is the potential to manufacture a huge amount – one litre of reaction material can produce up to one million doses.
"The second advantage of a lower dose is the reduced likelihood of side effects. Finally, a low dose vaccine opens up the possibility of combining the COVID-19 vaccine with other vaccines. We may now need annual vaccines against COVID-19, and a lower dose makes combination with other vaccines, such as the flu vaccine, more feasible.”