Leuven University starts testing corona vaccine on mice

Leuven University has started tests on mice with a view to finding a vaccine against the coronavirus.  The university is developing a prototype of a vaccine. The lab says first results have been positive and testing has now moved on to animals.  It will take at least 18 months before a vaccine for humans will be available.

Virologist Johan Neyts of Leuven University: “We’ve started giving mice a jab with the vaccine.  In a week’s time we’ll check how the mice have responded and see whether or not they have produced antibodies.  If they have we will know it has worked.”

“At present we are working on a prototype of a vaccine.  It’s not something you can use to vaccinate humans just like that.  A vaccine must complete several stages before it is rolled out.  It has to meet several stringent quality controls.”

Next the vaccine will be tested on volunteers.

“Then we will see whether or not it works and is safe.  If that’s the case, we will be able to test it on people who are ill due to the coronavirus.  We will also require a control group, a group of people that is given a placebo.  In short there are several phases that need to be gone through.  We will start testing on a dozen people and then move on to a thousand, three thousand, etc.”

If all goes well a vaccine could be ready by next summer.

Johan Neyts: “It would be the first time that a vaccine has been developed in only 18 months.”

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