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Home » The race for coronavirus vaccines: a graphical information

The race for coronavirus vaccines: a graphical information


Greater than 90 vaccines are being developed in opposition to SARS-CoV-2 by analysis groups in corporations and universities the world over. Researchers are trialling totally different applied sciences, a few of which haven’t been utilized in a licensed vaccine earlier than. At the least six teams have already begun injecting formulations into volunteers in security trials; others have began testing in animals. Nature’s graphical information explains every vaccine design.

A graphic that shows how the body develops immunity to coronavirus.

Graphics: Nik Spencer/Nature

SARS-CoV-2 vaccines: quite a lot of approaches

All vaccines purpose to reveal the physique to an antigen that received’t trigger illness, however will provoke an immune response that may block or kill the virus if an individual turns into contaminated. There are at the least eight sorts being tried in opposition to the coronavirus, they usually depend on totally different viruses or viral components.

A graph that shows the number of coronavirus vaccines in development.

Sources: Nature evaluation primarily based on: WHO COVID-19 Vaccine Panorama/Milken Institute COVID-19 Therapy and Vaccine Tracker/T. Thanh Le et al. Nature Rev. Drug. Disc. (2020)/F. Amanat & F. Krammer Immunity 52, 583–589 (2020)/W. Shang et al. npj Vaccines 5, 18 (2020).

Virus vaccines

At the least seven groups are growing vaccines utilizing the virus itself, in a weakened or inactivated kind. Many present vaccines are made on this approach, corresponding to these in opposition to measles and polio, however they require intensive security testing. Sinovac Biotech in Beijing has began to check an inactivated model of SARS-CoV-2 in people.

A graphic that shows how weakened or inactivated coronavirus can be used in a vaccine.

Viral-vector vaccines

Round 25 teams say they’re engaged on viral-vector vaccines. A virus corresponding to measles or adenovirus is genetically engineered in order that it will possibly produce coronavirus proteins within the physique. These viruses are weakened so they can’t trigger illness. There are two sorts: these that may nonetheless replicate inside cells and those who can’t as a result of key genes have been disabled.

A graphic that shows how viral vectors containing coronavirus genes can be used in a vaccine.

Nucleic-acid vaccines

At the least 20 groups are aiming to make use of genetic directions (within the type of DNA or RNA) for a coronavirus protein that prompts an immune response. The nucleic acid is inserted into human cells, which then churn out copies of the virus protein; most of those vaccines encode the virus’s spike protein.

A graphic that shows how coronavirus genetic material can be used in a vaccine.

Protein-based vaccines

Many researchers need to inject coronavirus proteins straight into the physique. Fragments of proteins or protein shells that mimic the coronavirus’s outer coat may also be used.

A graphic that shows how coronavirus proteins can be used in a vaccine.

Business trials

Greater than 70% of the teams main vaccine analysis efforts are from industrial or personal corporations. Scientific trials begin with small security research in animals and folks, adopted by a lot bigger trials to find out whether or not a vaccine generates an immune response. Researchers are accelerating these steps and hope to have a vaccine prepared in 18 months.


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