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India's First mRNA Vaccine Against COVID: 90% Effective; Can Be Used For Malaria, Dengue Etc.

Vaccines are designed to prevent infection by preparing the body to resist foreign invaders (bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens). In all vaccines, a harmless piece of a particular bacteria or virus is introduced into the body, which produces an immune response. The majority of vaccines consist of weakened or dead microbes or viruses.

However, Messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines use a molecule instead of a part of an actual bacteria or virus. A messenger RNA is a type of RNA necessary for the production of proteins. A cell's mRNA uses information from genes to create a blueprint for making proteins. As soon as a cell has finished making a protein, it breaks down its mRNA. Vaccine mRNA does not enter the nucleus and does not alter DNA [1].

This article contains the following:

  • How Do mRNA Vaccines Work? What About The Previous mRNA Vaccines?
  • When Will The New mRNA Vaccine Be Available In India?
  • How Is The New mRNA Vaccine 'Better' Than Others?
  • What Are The Benefits Of mRNA Vaccines?

India's First mRNA Vaccine Against COVID-19: What You Need To Know

The Center for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) has created India's first indigenous mRNA vaccine for COVID-19. The vaccine technology, which is 90 per cent effective against COVID-19 in a mouse model, may also be applied to other infectious diseases, such as malaria, dengue, and tuberculosis [2].

The new mRNA vaccine candidate is currently being tested for its effectiveness against a live novel Coronavirus infection in a preclinical study.

According to experts, these are the 'benefits' of mRNA vaccines [3]:

  • A vaccine that contains mRNA can be effective against malaria or dengue
  • mRNA vaccines are more cost-effective
  • mRNA vaccine is promptly redesigned

How Do mRNA Vaccines Work?

Vaccines induce an immune response by delivering weakened or inactivated germs to the body but not mRNA vaccines. The mRNA vaccines use mRNA created in a laboratory to teach our cells how to make a protein, or even just a fragment of a protein, that triggers an immune response within our bodies. Immunity, which produces antibodies, protects us from becoming infected if a real virus is introduced into our bodies [4].

What About The Previous mRNA Vaccines?

Even though Pfizer and Moderna have developed mRNA vaccines for the prevention of COVID-19, the CCMB's mRNA vaccine technology was developed independently and without external scientific assistance. Moreover, it is not the same technology used in the mRNA vaccine developed by a pharmaceutical firm based in Pune, which is currently undergoing testing [5].

When Will The New mRNA Vaccine Be Available In India?

Currently, the mRNA vaccine candidate is still in the early stages of development and is undergoing preclinical trials to assess its efficacy. Due to this, the manufacturers have not stated when the vaccine will be available for purchase in the country.

How Is The New mRNA Vaccine 'Better' Than Others?

According to the scientists developing the vaccine, the indigenous nature of the vaccine, as well as the preclinical trial results, indicate that the vaccine technology could be adapted for other infectious diseases [6].

The technology permits quick turnaround and large-scale replication. As a result, the technology and process could be used to combat not only COVID-19 but also other diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria, and dengue.

Story first published: Thursday, May 19, 2022, 11:04 [IST]
Read more about: mrna covid vaccination coronavirus
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