Taiwan's Academia Sinica has successfully developed the world's first "broad spectrum mRNA vaccine" that is effective against all known existing variants including Omicron. Meanwhile, Taiwan's Medigen vaccine has received emergency use authorization in Paraguay after the unblinding of Phase 3 clinical trial was conducted in the South American country.
Taiwan's domestically produced COVID-19 vaccine Medigen has received emergency use authorization (EUA) in Paraguay after the unblinding of Phase 3 clinical trial conducted in the South American country. The vaccine company, Medigen Vaccine Biologics Corp. said the third trial found that the Medigen vaccine generated 3.7 times as many neutralizing antibodies as its AstraZeneca counterpart, meeting the standard for safety. That result was similar to the results obtained in Taiwan in 2021. Whether Taiwan would donate vaccines to Paraguay is currently in discussion, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said.
Joanne Ou, MOFA Spokesperson: “We will keep in close contact with Paraguay's government to get to know more about the country's needs for vaccines. Taiwan will provide help within our ability.”
High vaccination coverage is the key to the reopening of the borders. Academia Sinica's distinguished research fellow Wong Chi-Huey, along with the research team from the Genomics Research Center under the institute, has developed a broad spectrum mRNA vaccine with early results showing that it would target the Omicron variant of COVID-19 and is also effective against other variants. The mRNA vaccine elicited high and broad neutralization potency as well as a T-cell response after testing on lab rats. Experts explained how researchers have identified some specific elements that would help strengthen the new vaccine in the making.
Huang Li-min, Honorary Chair, Infectious Diseases Society of Taiwan: “These elements better stimulate the T-cells. Traditional mRNA vaccines already elicit a good B-cell response to produce antibodies, and now we want to get a better T-cell response as well.”
Just how effective can the new mRNA vaccine be? Huang said more clinical trials are needed. Improved vaccine responses both in the B and T cell compartments would help stretch out the time between each vaccination needed.