Scientists in Texas Promote Easier-to-Make, Patent-free, and Cheaper Covid-19 Vaccine

Scientists in Texas are currently on the move for developing a brand-new vaccine for Covid-19. The vaccine is made through conventional methods, making it much easier to produce and cheaper. This means that countries with high rates of Covid cases as well as originating Covid variants may find this specific vaccine more accessible.

The team of scientists led by Dr.Maria Bottazzi and Dr. Peter Hotez has been working on the development of vaccine prototypes meant for MERS and SARS since 2011. These scientists reconstructed these prototypes and dubbed the work “Corbevax” or “Covid-19 vaccine of the world.”

While, sixty percent of the existing vaccine brands make use of similar technology, Dr. Bottazzi stated that the kind of vaccine they are creating is somewhat unique and is not subjected to patenting. This means that any company with the capacity has the freedom to reproduce it.

Recently, there have been conflicts and wars on mRNA vaccine patents between NIH and Moderna, as to who will be credited for the discovery of the vaccine. If infringement is to be proven on the end of Moderna, this will cost the company to pay over a billion dollars.

Simultaneously, activists also called for the attention of Moderna and Pfizer so that these two giant pharmaceutical companies will share their technology and ideas, specifically in the creation and production of vaccines. According to WHO, struggling countries with fewer research and production facilities are known to have vaccinated only 1 out of 9 persons. On the other hand, the United States has already vaccinated around 67 percent of the country’s population and already running its third dose to over one-third of the total number of vaccinated citizens.

Corbevax is on its way to releasing its clinical trial information. The Texas Children’s Hospital has stated that the vaccine is 90 percent effective for the Covid-19 strain and 80 percent effective for the Delta variant. Corbevax is currently tested for efficacy in combatting the virus’ Omicron variant.

In order to create the vaccine, scientists make use of yeast. This is a similar process also done in creating and producing vaccines for Hepatitis B.

Vaccine brands that are authorized and widely used in the US are Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, and Pfizer. These brands make use of varying technologies or “platforms’ as far as vaccine production is concerned. For example, Pfizer and Moderna make use of mRNA technology which is designed to introduce a person’s immune system to the Covid-19 strain. On the other hand, Johnson & Johnson vaccine uses a viral vector that aims to introduce immune cells to spike proteins.

Importantly, the storing of Corbevax vaccine is simple and easy as it only necessitates standard refrigeration. This is far more convenient than storing the Pfizer vaccine which mainly requires extremely cold temperatures especially when it is being transported.

A pharmaceutical company in India known as Biological E has a well-established relationship with the team of Dr. Bottazzi and is now on its way to delivering 150 million doses of Corbevax. The Indian pharmaceutical company is expected to produce and deliver 100 million doses each month.

The Corbevax production was overlooked by the US government so the scientists who are working behind the production of this vaccine brand are just relying on donations from philanthropists.

According to Dr. Bottazzi, the Children’s Hospital of Texas works and operates as a scientific and academic institution but the production of the Corbevax vaccine has led them to stretch and extend their existing resources. This is something they ought to make in order to make the vaccine more visible and available to the world, pushing it as a significant candidate for an effective and cheaper option in the Covid-19 vaccine arena.


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