The animal safety studies of an Iran-made COVID-19 vaccine that uses viral vector technology will likely end in two months.
According to Kayhan Azadmanesh, head of the virology group at Pasteur Institute of Iran, two Iranian knowledge-based companies are cooperating to produce a viral vector vaccine.
He says the project is being supported by the Vice-Presidency for Science and Technology.
Tests conducted on Laboratory mice show that the adenovirus is creating a ‘very strong’ response in the immune system against the COVID-19, he said.
Azadmanesh added that the next level of animal tests will be carried out on monkeys but first, the vaccine production should enter a semi-industrial stage.
The technology used in the vaccine is the same one employed in Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca, and Sputnik V, he added.
Viral vector vaccines use a modified version of a different virus (the vector) to deliver important instructions to our cells. For COVID-19 viral vector vaccines, the vector (not the virus that causes COVID-19, but a different, harmless virus) will enter a cell in our body and then use the cell’s machinery to produce a harmless piece of the virus that causes COVID-19. This piece is known as a spike protein and it is only found on the surface of the virus that causes COVID-19, according to the CDC.
The cell displays the spike protein on its surface, and our immune system recognizes it doesn’t belong there. This triggers our immune system to begin producing antibodies and activating other immune cells to fight off what it thinks is an infection.
At the end of the process, our bodies have learned how to protect us against future infection with the virus that causes COVID-19. The benefit is that we get this protection from a vaccine, without ever having to risk the serious consequences of getting sick with COVID-19. Any temporary discomfort experienced after getting the vaccine is a natural part of the process and an indication that the vaccine is working.