Valneva vaccine could be available in the second half of April

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The Austro-French vaccine manufacturer Valneva considers approval of its Covid vaccine VLA2001 by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) possible by the end of March. Company representatives said that the inactivated vaccine could be available in the second half of April 2022. Many vaccination skeptics wanted to wait for this protection.

Another offer in a series of vaccines

The offer of the vaccine, which is based on a long-tested and established technology-based on whole inactivated SARS-CoV-2 pathogens, thus joins the now quite comprehensive range of vaccines. In any case, the Valneva vaccine shows that Vienna is “at the forefront of research in the life sciences sector” and how central research and development (R&D) is coping with the pandemic, says SPÖ city councilor for economic affairs Peter Hanke during a company visit. Valneva maintains the largest of its international sites in Vienna. Among the approximately 250 employees in the federal capital, more than 200 are engaged in R&D, explained Valneva’s chief financial officer Peter Bühler.

VLA2001 is the “only whole-virus vaccine candidate in development in Europe. “Valneva follows an approach that has been tried and tested for many decades. In this approach, the entire killed virus is presented to the body. Thus, the immune system has to deal with all pathogen parts. Production takes place in Scotland and Sweden, but most development work is done in Vienna.

Two doses at intervals of four weeks

The vaccine is now in “final discussions” with the EMA and has already received emergency approval in the Gulf state of Bahrain. The decisive phase III trial data have been available since October 2021. The Valneva vaccine was administered in two doses four weeks apart. A comparison was made with AstraZeneca’s agent in adults over 30 years of age. The titer of the neutralizing antibodies was, on average higher than that of the participants who received the available vaccine. It was said after the study’s conclusion with more than 4,600 participants.

Only recently, the EMA answered further questions within the so-called rolling approval procedure framework. If a favorable decision is made soon, a vaccine offer based on a “proven technology” is in the bag, convincing people who are unsatisfied with the existing options.

Adaptation to new Corona variants possible

VLA2001 could also be adapted to new variants like a flu vaccine, although perhaps a little slower than mRNA vaccines. How well it is suited as a booster after the administration of other vaccines is still being tested in studies, Jankowitsch explained. Laboratory tests have shown that the built-up immune protection also neutralizes the omicron and delta variants.

  • source: kurier.at/picture: pixabay.com
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