In march of 1963, dr maurice hilleman was woken up one night by his five-year-old daughter.
She was complaining of a sore throat, so hilleman looked her over and determined she had the mumps unable to sleep.
He was struck with an idea.
He swabbed her throat for a sample drove to the lab and got to work. 00:00:18
Four years later, his mum's vaccine was approved.
It was the fastest.
A vaccine had ever been developed until now, new vaccine against coronavirus, and it's incredible how quickly this vaccine and others have been developed. 00:00:28
This was done in record time.
This is extraordinary.
This is the fastest vaccine development in us history in 2020.
Vaccines for covet 19 have shattered previous records going from development to approval in a matter of months that speed was driven by billions of dollars in a global effort, but in some cases it was also because of a breakthrough in vaccine technology decades in the making something That could shrink this timeline going forward and change how we make vaccines all together.
Vaccines teach your immune system how to respond to a threat, and traditionally there have been four ways to do this: the two most common types of vaccines, work by exposing you to a weakened or dead version of a virus or bacteria. 00:01:22
The weakened virus won't make you sick, but it will teach your body how to fight the real thing if you're exposed to it later on.
This is how the measles and annual flu vaccines work.
Another less common type of vaccine does a similar thing, but uses an inert version of a toxin instead of a virus.
The most well-known version of this is probably the tetanus shot. 00:01:45
This fourth type of vaccine works a little differently because it only uses a small part of the virus instead of the whole thing. 00:01:53
Common examples of this would be the hepatitis b vaccine or the hpv vaccine. 00:01:56
Some of the new covid19 vaccines also rely on these traditional methods. 00:02:03
For example, one covid19 vaccine currently in trials uses this fourth method.
It only uses one part of the sars cov2 virus, known as the spike protein .
That spike protein is what allows the coronavirus to enter your cells when injected into your body on its own. 00:02:22
It's harmless, but your body will still recognize it as a foreign threat and launch an immune response to fight it off, which is enough to teach your body.
How to fight the whole virus but isolating and preparing that spike protein for a vaccine is a process.
Researchers first had to modify it then multiply it a lot and then assemble the vaccine itself in a lab.
In fact, one thing that all four of these types of vaccines have in common is that they all require growing and transporting large amounts of live pathogens in a lab, and that takes a lot of time.
A vaccine goes through many steps before it can be approved, but before anything else, it has to be developed and working with live pathogens makes that process a lot longer. 00:03:10
On average, it takes five to ten years for a vaccine to reach fda approval in the united states. 00:03:18
Most covid19 vaccines have gotten through this process a lot faster by overlapping the different phases of human trials and starting the manufacturing early.
But some vaccines have also found a groundbreaking way to speed up this first section by shifting some of the work out of the lab and into your body [, Music.
], nearly every function in the human body is carried out by proteins, so our cells are constantly manufacturing them to do that, they make a single stranded copy of dna. 00:03:49
That copy is called messenger, rna or mrna.
Each strand of mrna holds the information on how to make one type of protein.
The cell reads: the mrna follows the instructions and makes a protein, and that's where these two new types of vaccines come in. 00:04:08
They contain instructions. 00:04:04
Researchers who developed these new types of vaccines called mrna vaccines, started with the genetic sequence of the virus. 00:04:18
They also decided to focus on the spike protein we talked about earlier, but instead of assembling and purifying that protein in the lab, they identified the part of the genetic sequence that creates it and then took a much faster route by synthesizing mrna and using that, as The vaccine, which saved months of time and money once inside the body, the cell, reads the mrna and begins to make harmless spike proteins of its own from there.
Your body's immune system recognizes the foreign threat and sounds the alarm.
This is how the new kovid 19 vaccines from pfizer and biointec and moderna work, but the main drawback with an mrna vaccine is that mrna breaks down very easily.
It has to be delivered inside a protective fatty barrier and kept ultra cold, which isn't super ideal for a vaccine that needs to reach all areas of the globe. 00:05:14
Another effective new to consumer kind of vaccine works similarly, but uses dna instead of mrna, which is much more stable. 00:05:23
The covid19 vaccines from astrazeneca and johnson and johnson are this type.
It doesn't require the ultracold conditions, but it does have its own drawbacks to get the dna into your cells, researchers use a harmless virus as a carrier, but over time your body will build resistance to that virus, which means future doses using this carrier will become less And less effective and the carrier will need to be updated, but in terms of efficacy, cost and speed.
These two new types of vaccines have broken records. 00:05:58
These new vaccines are a groundbreaking way to elicit an immune response, and, while they'll have a big impact on how we fight covid19, their real impact is just beginning. 00:06:08
A vaccine that delivers specific instructions to your body opens up a whole new world of vaccine technologies and disease treatments for things like cancer or hiv.
Finding the vaccine was a turning point for the pandemic, but the pandemic might also be a turning point for vaccines. 00:06:29
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