The Czech Republic has embarked on a journey to prepare a vaccine against covid-19
The National Institute of Public Health, the Institute of Hematology and Blood Transfusion and the Institute of Clinical and Experimental Medicine have joined in cooperation in the preparation of a vaccine against covid-19. The preparation of an inactivated (killed) vaccine is unfolding at a fast pace. The research is currently in the first (laboratory) phase. The Czech Republic is embarking on the development of the vaccine in the same way as other countries in the world that want to ensure protection for their citizens against a new type of coronavirus.
A total of three phases of development in three directly managed organizations of the Ministry of Health. That is how the preparation of the vaccine in the Czech Republic looks. Each of the institutions has a clearly defined role and the combination of their successful, proven research teams is intended to speed up the preparation and clinical trials. “The modern world has never experienced such a global pandemic of an infectious disease. The specific treatment is not yet known, so we clearly see vaccination against a possible future wave of the disease as protection. Therefore, three Czech, directly-managed organizations of the Ministry of Health were given the task of developing the vaccine so that we can achieve the possibility of protecting Czech patients in the shortest possible time,” says Minister of Health Adam Vojtěch. “Thanks to its first-rate professional background, the Czech Republic is in the peloton of a few countries in the world that are trying to develop a vaccine,” added the minister.
The development will be divided into three stages. At the end of each of them, that part of the study carried out will be assessed very strictly. “In the first phase, there was an agreement between these three key institutions, which carried out a feasibility study and clearly declared the cooperation and definition of the individual stages of the study. Each of the participating institutions has an irreplaceable role in the implementation of research from in vitro analyses and in vivo studies up to clinical trials, “ explained Professor Věra Adámková, head of the joint research team and head of the Preventive Cardiology Department at ICEM.
The project, approved by the Ministry of Health, is based on the strengths of the three state institutions: “After more than two months of intensive testing and research into the behavior of coronavirus, we have enough experience and knowledge to embark on such ambitious work that is the development of a vaccine. Our aim is to develop it quickly, but at the same time strict safety criteria must be met, which will be guaranteed by the cooperation of experts from our institute, IHBT and ICEM,” said Pavel Březovský, Director of the National Institute of Public Health.
“As part of the project, we will work with Czech and international partners to gain new knowledge about the immune response to the coronavirus infection. If the first phase of the research is successful, our team, in cooperation with the NIPH and ICEM, will begin the process of preparing the production and preclinical and clinical evaluation of a potential vaccine for approval by state authorities,” added Professor Petr Cetkovský, the Director of IHBT.
“ICEM will participate in preclinical (animal testing) part of the research and in the clinical testing of a possible vaccine against covid-19. A vaccine prepared from a chemically killed virus incapable of reproduction or transmission to humans will be tested. The aim of the experiments is not only to determine the ability of the vaccine to elicit an immune response, but also to verify the safety of vaccination in terms of possible side effects,” concluded Michal Stiborek, the Director of ICEM.
The vaccine on which Czech scientists and doctors are working is intended to induce immunity against the specific covid-19 disease after being introduced into the body. The research team opted for a proven inactivated vaccine that contains killed viruses. The human body is able to remember these non-living agents and fight their living forms in the future. This vaccination is safer than live vaccines, but must be administered in multiple doses to be effective (such as the vaccination against hepatitis A, polio, rabies, and others).