Scientists from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine reportedly developed a promising Coronavirus vaccine last week

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According to Science Daily, scientists at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine have developed a promising vaccine against SARS-CoV-2, the current strain of Coronavirus. This team developed a vaccine, called PittCoVacc, from previous research done retaining to previous coronaviruses. The team had done research with SARS-CoV in 2003 and MERS-CoV in 2014 which allowed them to understand what to use against the Coronavirus. “These two viruses, which are closely related to SARS-CoV-2, teach us that a particular protein, called a spike protein, is important for inducing immunity against the virus,” claimed Andrea Gambotto, M.D., associate professor of surgery at the Pitt School of Medicine. ~

The PittCoVacc uses lab-made pieces of viral protein to build immunity, much like the current flu shot. The vaccination is given to patients through a microneedle array. “This array is a fingertip-sized patch of 400 tiny needles that delivers the spike protein pieces into the skin, where the immune reaction is strongest. The patch goes on like a Band-Aid and then the needles — which are made entirely of sugar and the protein pieces — simply dissolve into the skin” (Science Daily). In order to test this vaccination, the team at the University of Pittsburgh gave it to mice with the patch. The patch was able to produce SARS-CoV-2 specific antibodies within two weeks and in a magnitude thought to be enough to neutralize the virus. The vaccine is now waiting to be approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but once it is approved the team has a way to mass-produce the drug. This process includes creating and purifying the protein pieces on a large scale. The microneedle array can also sit at room temperature which eliminates the need for refrigeration in shipping and storage. ~

This vaccination holds promise to the future of Coronavirus vaccinations. In contrast to the current clinical trials put on by the National Institutes of Health that hope to have an immune system response using mRNA, the PittCoVacc uses viral protein to attack SARS-CoV-2. ~

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