A Senior Government Clinical Advisor on the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (COVID-19 response) and a former member of the WHO Scientific Technical Advisory Committee for Ebola Emergencies (STAC-EE) and UK Pandemic Flu group has confirmed that the Valneva vaccine developed in Scotland would, ‘in principle’ be more effective than the ones we currently use, in fighting the new Omicron variant.
Readers will remember that the UK Government cancelled an order for the Valneva vaccine in September on ‘commercial grounds’ and on the notion that it would not meet UK safety standards.
Professor Semple commented after reading this:
Now French pharmaceutical company Valneva is throwing its hat into the vaccine ring, but it has a vaccine with a difference. Rather than induce an immune response that targets just the spike protein of the coronavirus, the Valneva vaccine, also known as VLA2001, stimulates an immune response to the entire virus, and that might just give it an edge over its competitors.
It is different in that it uses the tried and tested method of taking the whole of the coronavirus and inactivating it so that it can no longer cause illness. It then combines with an adjuvant, a substance that helps it enter human cells effectively.
A similar technique is used to make flu and polio vaccines. The idea is that by introducing a whole coronavirus into the human body, albeit one which has been inactivated and cannot cause illness, the immune system will recognise the whole virus as foreign and not just the spike proteins. This will give a much broader immune response and increase the memory cells that can recognise different parts of the virus should the vaccinated individual become infected with the real coronavirus.
The company say the advantage to this is that should any mutations arise on the spike protein that render it unrecognisable to the vaccine, the Valenva-induced immune response is broad enough to be able to recognise other parts of the virus so the immune reaction will still be effective.