Researchers say that gene-based, or DNA and RNA , vaccines are faster and cheaper to produce in large quantities than conventional vaccines. Conventional vaccines often use “weakened” or “killed” versions of a virus. That means laboratories have to produce huge amounts of the virus. They often also include a protein, which is needed to spark a human immune response. But producing a virus and a viral-protein can be time-intensive and expensive. A DNA or RNA vaccine, on the other hand, takes a small part of the virus’ own genetic information — just enough to spark an immune response — and the protein can be produced directly at the cell. Experts say the virus’ genetic information can be replicated and produced relatively easily. And that’s what scientists want in a live situation, such as the SARS-CoV-2 / COVID-19 pandemic , where billions of people need protection very quickly. Read more: Lessons learned: The eradication of smallpox 40 years ago “That’s a great advantage of an RNA vaccine,” says Peter Doherty , a Nobel Laureate and professor of immunology at Melbourne University, “if it works well.” Human trials: A Covid-19 vaccine test volunteer receives an injection at a clinic in South Africa The World… Read full this story
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