New research: How self-replicating mRNA Covid-19 vaccines work, and what the trial results show

What is the News?

A self-amplifying mRNA vaccine named ARCT-154 has shown promising results against Covid-19 in ongoing phase 1/2/3 trials.

What is ARCT-154 Vaccine? 

It is a self-amplifying mRNA vaccine against Covid-19.

Developed by: Arcturus Therapeutics Holdings, based in San Diego, California, and its trials are in progress in Vietnam.

Efficacy: It offered 95% protection against severe Covid-19 and death, and 55% against Covid infection.

What are mRNA and self-amplifying mRNA vaccines?

mRNA vaccine uses messenger RNA that encodes the spike protein of the coronavirus. In other words, the mRNA directs the cell to produce copies of the spike protein so that the immune system will recognise the spike if and when actual infection takes place, and mount a response.

On the other hand, self-amplifying mRNA vaccines are an improvement on the traditional RNA platform. These are the ones in which the delivered RNA multiplies inside the body. The basic advantage of these vaccines is that a) It comes at a lower cost, b) Their self-amplifying design allows for smaller doses.

Source: This post is based on the article “New research: How self-replicating mRNA Covid-19 vaccines work, and what trial results show” published in Indian Express on 26th April 2022.

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