The corona vaccines that have been approved so far continue to provide good protection against severe disease progression. But they prevent them Unreliable infection. There are now new approaches to vaccine development.
After booster vaccination will now be the fourth corona vaccination offered for certain at-risk groups. Lower Saxony is already planning the second booster for everyone. But one thing is clear: his protection also decreases quite quickly. And the infection with the Omicron variant of Coronavirus prevent previous vaccines from becoming unreliable.
“Next step” in the fight against Corona
Charité’s chief virologist already singled out in January Christian Drosten point out that he is a “livevaccination” as the “next step” in the fight against the corona virus. For example, a spray with which “weakened virus” to be sprayed in the nose, for the first time in our respiratory tract an additional mucous membraneimmunity create. “That would be a much better protection against transmission,” Drosten said in an interview with the “Tagesspiegel am Sonntag”.
Immunologist Andreas Radbruch also points out in an interview with t-online pointed out that even with those who had been boosted, protection against infection waned relatively quickly. “Where that virus gets into the body – on the mucous membranes – the protection of antibodies, which is supposed to catch the virus, fades rather quickly. We don’t really know why. »
prevent the transmission of the virus
We need other vaccines – hence the conclusion. The goal of scientists is to produce what is called sterilizing immunity.
“So far, the prevention of serious diseases has been the focus of first generation vaccines. The next step is also to prevent the transmission of the virus by people vaccinated with second generation vaccines. This should now be worked on at all speed”, thus model maker Kristan Schneider in the t-online interview.
Professor Ulrich Lauer and his team at Tübingen University Hospital are studying this second generation of vaccine – a nasal spray. He explained the benefits of t-online and the progress of his research.
Mr. Lauer, what are the advantages of a nasal spray vaccination over the intramuscular vaccines we already have?
Ulrich Lauer: The five active ingredients that have been approved in Germany to date form antibodies inside our body and put our immune cells into a state of alarm. This will do that SARS-CoV-2– Prevented virus from progressing further in our body.
On the other hand, there is not enough protection against penetration through our respiratory tract. That’s why boosted people get infected again and again, what Covid-19 keep going strong. Everyone knows such cases in their region.
In very practical terms: How do you catch the virus at the front door of the body?
In the future, vaccination should be applied exactly where the virus enters the body, namely in the respiratory tract. In this way, the virus can be blocked and neutralized at an early stage, and its spread is stopped at the first protective wall.
Ullrich Lauer (source: private)
Ulrich Lauer is Deputy Medical Director of the Department of Internal Medicine at the University Hospital of Tübingen. Together with scientists from the Max Planck Institute in Martinsried, his working group is studying a corona vaccine that can be administered as a nasal spray.
Does the body form very special extra antibodies during a nasal vaccination?
Yes, we are talking about immunoglobulin A (IgA) subtype antibodies, which catch invaders in the nose and immediately neutralize them. To do this, we use a carrier virus that is harmless to humans, which carries parts of the genetic material of the coronavirus and stimulates the formation of these special IgA antibodies to a large extent.
Using Spike Protein?
I am okay. With nasal vaccination, we bring the genetic information from the spike protein into our airway cells on a genetic shuttle. These IgA antibodies then form in the airways. That immune system then reacts exactly where the SARS-CoV-2 virus attacks first, so that infections can’t even attack each other.
How far is the research on this?
Right now we’re testing our noses vaccine-Prototypes in the corresponding animal models. In 2023 we will perform clinical trials and then we can expect approval in 2024.
This means that you assume that Corona will not have left us by then…
Corona will remain, and there will always be new variants. Even if these are then “only” endemic, we still need to protect ourselves against them. Incidentally, this type of vaccination could also be used against other respiratory viruses.
And do we all have to be three times immunized against Corona with these vaccines?
Our nasal spray should first be used as an effective supplemental booster vaccine. This would give the body a kind of double protection against the virus, i.e. protection inside the body and in the respiratory tract.
So far, there has been no breakthrough in this research. How many teams are dedicated to this subject?
We assume that there are a dozen research groups and companies in the world.
And it may be that at some point we just buy the spray you developed in the pharmacy in the respective Corona season, spray it several times and then be protected?
First of all, our vaccination spray will certainly be prescribed by GPs first, distribution via pharmacies ensures that our vaccine is sufficiently refrigerated and that anyone wishing to be vaccinated has sufficient access to it.
Mr. Lauer, thank you for the interview!
Important note: The information does not in any way replace professional advice or treatment by trained and recognized doctors. The content of t-online cannot and should not be used to independently establish diagnoses or initiate treatments.