Valneva’s new corona vaccine could be approved later this year. The so-called dead vaccine should also convince vaccine skeptics.

Kassel – A vaccine against Corona * is currently being developed using a classic method. Behind the vaccine with the name VLA2001 is the Austro-French company Valneva. In the meantime, an application has also been made to the British Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) for approval.

But what is the difference between the Covid-19 vaccine and the mRNA vaccines from Biontech / Pfizer and Moderna, as well as the vector vaccines from Astrazeneca and Johnson & Johnson? The Valneva agent is a so-called dead vaccine, which is also intended to convince corona vaccination skeptics of immunization. The reason: dead vaccines have been researched for a long time.

Corona vaccine Valneva: Many vaccines are based on the same principle

Inactive vaccines, also known as inactive vaccines, are based on killed pathogens or components of certain pathogens. According to the Federal Center for Health Education, these are no longer able to multiply and cannot cause diseases. Vaccinations that have been used for decades, such as against tetanus, polio, diphtheria or flu, are based on this method.

In the case of Valneva’s corona vaccine, the Sars-CoV-2 virus is chemically inactivated, but the structure of the spike protein is retained. In addition, active enhancers are added to the vaccine. This stimulates the human immune system to produce antibodies without causing a disease – the so-called immune response.

Another great advantage of vaccines is that they can be produced quickly and stored for a long time – at refrigerator temperatures even for several years. In addition, the chance of side effects with dead vaccines is considered to be relatively low. The specialist medical portal “Yellow List” reports on this.

ADE as a disadvantage of corona vaccines “theoretically possible”

However, the specialist portal mentions the possibility of so-called antibody-dependent immune enhancement (ADE) as a major disadvantage. This means that the actually protective effect would change into the opposite and ensure that people vaccinated with it would get worse with the coronavirus if a renewed infection should occur.

According to some researchers, ADE could also occur in the previous corona vaccines from Biontech / Pfizer, Moderna, Astrazeneca and Johnson & Johnson – the probability is described as “theoretically possible”.

Corona vaccination: Results from Phase I and Phase II of Valneva give hope

The Valneva vaccine is currently in a rolling review process. This means that the examining licensing authority can immediately check all available data as soon as they are available. However, before approval can be granted, the corona vaccine must first complete phase III, i.e. the last test phase. The first results of the phase III study are expected in October. Initial approval could be granted before the end of 2021 if the rest of the test is successful.

In the phase I and phase II studies, vaccinations given to around 150 test persons between the ages of 18 and 55 gave indications of good tolerability and effectiveness. In phase III, the Valneva active ingredient is now to be compared with the Astrazeneca vaccine. In addition, it will be examined whether the dead vaccine can also be used as a booster vaccine.

In the video: Valneva’s new corona vaccine – approval for Austria in autumn?

The EU Commission has ordered Corona vaccination doses from Valneva

According to the manufacturer, two vaccinations with an interval of 28 days are expected to be required in order to achieve complete protection against the coronavirus. However, booster vaccinations are also considered likely here. With the other Covid-19 vaccines, the vaccination protection decreases over time, so the third-party corona vaccinations for some risk groups * will start in September. Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn (CDU) recently announced that sooner or later he would be able to make such a vaccination offer to everyone.

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The EU Commission has meanwhile concluded exploratory talks with the vaccine manufacturer Valneva. The planned contract with the Austro-French company would give all EU member states the opportunity to jointly acquire 30 million doses in a first step – including an option for a further 30 million vaccine doses.