Swiss health researchers announced, on Wednesday, that they have begun a study to test a possible vaccine against Covid-19 that will be delivered via a patch on the arm, the latest in a series of injection alternatives.
Unlike conventional vaccines, which stimulate the production of antibodies, the new candidate vaccine “PepGNP-Covid-19” focuses on T cells responsible for cellular immunity, to eliminate cells infected with the virus and prevent its reproduction.
The potential vaccine has been developed by the British company Emergex Vaccines Holding Ltd, while the studies that began on January 10 will be carried out by the Unisanté Medical Research Center in Lausanne (Switzerland), in cooperation with the CHUV hospital in the city.
This type of cellular immunity generates so-called ‘memory cells’, which can make immunization permanent and could be better than others at protecting against new variants of the virus, said Professor Blaise Genton, study director.
The potential vaccine will be administered through tiny needles in the patch, at a depth of less than a millimeter, with which it is expected to generate long-term immunity against Covid-19, ruling out the need for other booster doses.
“With this new vaccine that generates cellular immunity, we hope to have a longer protection period, which we don’t know yet, but that period could be a year, two or three years,” Genton told Reuters.
To apply the vaccine, the patch should be pressed against the skin for a short time and then removed.
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