An enhanced smallpox vaccine has been found to have longer effectiveness in preventing infection with the novel coronavirus.
The vaccine was produced by a research team from the Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Medical Science (TMiMS) in Japan. The results were verified through animal testing.
The team incorporated a part of a coronavirus gene into an attenuated vaccinia virus used as the smallpox vaccine.
They tested them on monkeys after administering two doses of the combination three weeks apart.
Four of the inoculated monkeys were then infected with the coronavirus, viral growth in their lungs, and the onset of pneumonia were found to have been strongly suppressed.
Antibodies that attack the coronavirus and immune cells that attack infected cells were created.
The researchers observed there were no side effects from the vaccine.
TMiMS researcher Michinori Kohara, who specializes in infectious immunology, said, “the safety of vaccines using vaccinia virus is high, and are expected to maintain strong effectiveness over a long period.”
Nobelpharma Co., a Tokyo-based pharmaceutical company, said it plans clinical trials sometime this year. (ES)