While the effectiveness of vaccines against Covid-19 has recently been called into question, in particular due to the need for several recalls, research continues to develop more effective products. On Wednesday February 23, the companies Sanofi and GSK announced that they had succeeded in designing a vaccine with 100% effectiveness against severe forms and hospitalizations.
According to Roger Connor, president of GSK, unlike messenger RNA vaccines, Sanofi-GSK’s new vaccine is protein-based. This is a well-established approach that has been widely used to prevent other viral infections such as during influenza epidemics. Connor added that this vaccine could play an important role during the Covid-19 pandemic and as the world prepares for a post-pandemic period.
According to information, the two companies are currently preparing to submit an application for authorization to organizations such as the Food and Drug Administration of the United States, or the European Medicines Agency. The application concerns the marketing of the vaccine which will be administered in two doses plus a booster dose.
How does the new vaccine work?
Like all other vaccines against Covid-19, the target of this new vaccine is the spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. While mRNA vaccines send information at the cell level to form their own spike proteins and be able to train, Sanofi-GSK’s vaccine already contains a modified version of the spike protein. The presence of this protein will directly induce an immune response.
According to the explanations provided by the two companies, the vaccine itself would only have an effectiveness of 57.8% against all the symptoms of Covid-19. This is a lower number than vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna. However, the Sanofi-GSK vaccine is said to be 100% effective against severe forms and hospitalizations, and 75% effective against moderate to severe forms.
According to Thomas Triomphe, Executive Vice President of Sanofi, these results are very encouraging and confirm the level of their science and the benefits offered by their vaccine.
“Sanofi-GSK’s vaccine demonstrates a universal ability to boost all platforms and across all age groups”did he declare.
As this vaccine is not based on mRNA technology, it may represent an effective solution for developing countries. Its production is indeed less expensive and its preservation does not require refrigeration at very low temperatures.
In addition, the level of antibodies produced with the Sanofi-GSK vaccine would be higher than that of an mRNA vaccine. The difference is even more obvious when the Sanofi-GSK vaccine is used as a booster, even if a different vaccine was used during the first injections.