The Entire Population Of Switzerland Could Get A Covid-19 Jab By October

A team of researchers at the University of Bern (Switzerland) is hoping to be the first to produce a vaccine against Covid-19 and inoculate the entire Swiss population in October.

We have a realistic chance of being successful,” said Martin Bachmann, head of immunology at the Swiss university via a web conference with ACANU, the United Nations press association. “Switzerland has a history of being pragmatic and is more interested in finding a compromise to get the vaccine faster.”

Since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak and its designation by the World Health Organization as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) at the end of January, most international health experts and authorities have said a vaccine should not be expected for about a year to 18 months – at the earliest.

Bachmann, who is also professor of vaccinology at the Jenner Institute at the University of Oxford, said his accelerated timing could be partially explained by potential ease of production, where the equivalent of 200 litres of bacterial bio ferment, which is needed for the jabs, could produce 10-20 million doses.

The vaccine is unique because of the huge scalability. It has the ability to produce billions of doses in a short time frame,” Bachmann said.

The vaccine under development by the Swiss team takes a different approach than other labs by using so-called virus-like particles, which are not infectiousunlike when using the virus itself – and which provide good immunity response. A prototype was developed in February, just weeks after the new coronavirus was identified in China, and proved successful in tests on laboratory mice, when the serum neutralised the virus.

Gary Jennings, CEO of Saiba Biotechexternal link which is working with the University of Bern, said the Swiss authorities are aware of the importance of approving the vaccine’s development. “We can do this if the Swiss government and the regulators want to do it. If they want to see this vaccine made available to the public in this timeframe, then it will be done.

Source: https://www.swissinfo.ch/