Three questions about the Franco-Austrian Valneva vaccine, which has just been authorized by the EU

The laboratory, based in Nantes, had carried out the first human trials of its vaccine candidate in December 2021. It is now the first serum approved in Europe using traditional inactivated virus technology, a more traditional technology than that of the virus. messenger RNA. “It’s a technology that’s been used for over 70 years for the flu vaccine, which is given every year”, explained to AFP, in April, the general manager of Valneva, Franck Grimaud. Chinese serums SinoVac and SinoPharm are modeled on the same model.

“For this type of vaccine, you use the entire envelope of the virus in question that you inactivate, and that not only allows you to generate antibodies against the famous Spike protein (on the surface of the Covid-19, editor’s note)but also various other antibodies”, he detailed. Valneva’s vaccine “contains inactivated (killed) SARS-CoV-2, which cannot cause disease”, explained for its part the EMA. Many childhood vaccines use the same process.

Pfizer and Moderna, on the other hand, use messenger RNA technology, which involves injecting strands of genetic instructions into the body that tell the patient’s cells what to make to fight the disease. As for AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson, they use innovative viral vector technology: they take as a carrier a very common type of virus called adenovirus, which has been modified to carry genetic information in the body to fight Covid.

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