The long-awaited coronavirus vaccine

When can we forget and to remove the coronavirus from our lives? When we have a vaccine. Any other approach has proven futile. But they tell it to Swedes, where infection is far from controlled and whose health authorities opted to minimize containment measures in order to achieve herd immunity status. State in which more than 60% of the population is immunized, after passing the disease and the virus can no longer spread. Only between 5 and 10% of the population, depending on the area, has immunity in Spain, and that has cost us 240,000 infected and more than 27,000 dead. It is better not to think about the number of deaths that would have been necessary to reach the famous 60%.

Big Pharma

When will we have the vaccine? Recently the multinational Astrazeneca has announced an agreement with eThe Jenner Institute at Oxford University to have, this fall, millions of doses of the vaccine developed in this center. This is in a very advanced investigation phase. Are there other possible vaccines? The strategies to achieve it are several: from those based on virus fragments, others on genetically modified viruses, etc. Currently, there are 10 that are being tested in humans and more than 120 in previous phases.

The race to get it seems to be a matter of first swords. Pharmaceutical companies like Astrazeneca, Merck, Pfizer, Johnson and Johnson, etc., Among the world's largest companies, they are teaming up with the world's most powerful research centers for vaccine development and manufacturing, along with Chinese companies and start-up laboratories. To give us an idea, the British Jenner Institute is named after Edward Jenner, British scientist who invented the vaccine, father of immunology and according to many the person who has saved more lives with his research.

Spain, in the queue

Keep in mind that it is not enough to develop a vaccine, also you have to be able to make billions of doses. It is very possible that a person, to immunize himself, requires two or three doses. Multiply by the 6 billion of the world's population today and you will see the number coming out. Imagine the quantity of raw materials and the industrial infrastructure necessary for this. Therefore, it is best that not only one vaccine be developed but several, so that the task is shared out.

It is very likely that a person requires two or three doses to immunize

Will we see a Spanish vaccine? According to the WHO registry, of the 124 research projects in the preclinical phase – they have not yet been tested in humans – there are two Spaniards, led by the National Center for Biotechnology under the CSIC. As announced at a press conference the Minister of Science and Innovation Pedro Duque, They could begin research on humans in the fall. Therefore, it seems that the Spanish projects will begin this advanced phase of the investigation late, when the vaccine is already in the manufacturing phase for worldwide distribution by the companies that we have previously seen.

Lack of sources

Scientists like Mariano Esteban or Luis Enjuanes, from the CSIC, are world authorities in this field. But unfortunately the means available to us in our country are not comparable to those of leading centers and companies worldwide. Nor do we have the infrastructure to manufacture vaccines for humans, even the influenza vaccine is purchased from other countries.

The Rovi Laboratories tried to set up a plant in Granada, with institutional support, in the last influenza A epidemic, in which there was also a 'fever' to get vaccines, but after this, the initiative was soon forgotten. For all the above it seems that the role of our country in this field will be secondary. You can not expect anything else from a place where the wages of health workers, and not to say researchers, is at the bottom of Europe.

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