Moderna’s COVID-19 shot would turn cells into ‘vaccine factories’: report

The potential COVID-19 treatment being developed by Moderna would use pioneering technology to transform the body into a so-called vaccine producing-machine, according to a report.

Traditional vaccines typically inject an inactivated or weakened form of a virus, prompting the immune system to develop antibodies that protect the body against the disease, Bloomberg reported.

But Moderna’s candidate would use human cells to “become miniature vaccine factories in their own right,” the outlet reported.

The vaccine contains a messenger RNA, or mRNA, that carries instructions for making SARS-CoV-2 spike proteins, which can trick the body into thinking it is already infected with COVID-19.

Scientists hope it will trigger an immune response that would generate antibodies against the virus.

The results so far have been promising with the vaccine in phase three of its human trial after a study found that monkeys who were injected with the candidate built immunity against the virus.

Volunteers are given the Moderna mRNA-1273 Coronavirus Efficacy (COVE).
Volunteers are given the Moderna mRNA-1273 Coronavirus Efficacy (COVE) shot.Henry Ford Health System/AFP via

If successful, it would be the first human approved vaccine to harness gene-based technology.

“It’s a big moment for mRNA therapeutics in general, because now it’s a household word and everybody knows about it,” Derrick Rossi, a co-founder of Moderna who is no longer affiliated with the company, told Bloomberg.

“For Moderna, it’s the first time on the global stage.”

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