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Covid-19: how a vaccine is produced. IRBM fights against Coronavirus RAI 1 UnoMattina, 14/02/2020

ENGLISH TRANSCRIPT

REPORTER IN STUDIO

The first Coronavirus could be ready in 18 months. At least that is what the WHO is hoping. According to the US Infectious Disease Research Institute, an initial trial on a small number of people cannot be ruled out within two to three months. But to understand how close these hopes and forecasts are to reality, we decided to go and see how a vaccine is born. As you’ll see in the report by Claudio Antinoro, we didn’t have to go far.

VFC

Pomezia, just a few miles from Rome, is home to the Molecular Biology Research Institute, a center of excellence in the search for new drugs and vaccines. 200 researchers work here, including biologists and chemists, mostly women, with a large contingent of young people.

REPORTER AT IRBM

This is a controlled contamination environment, it’s where you produced the Ebola vaccine.

DI LORENZO

A million doses of the Ebola vaccine were made here and now we’re going to start producing the Coronavirus vaccine.

RESEARCHER

We have a team of 9 people on production. There are 7 production rooms, each of them performing a specific step in the process.

REPORTER AT IRBM

This project is a collaboration with the University of Oxford.

DI LORENZO

They discovered the protein to be used to immunize people. Our expertise lies in creating the vehicle, the adeno-virus, which loads this protein and carries it into the body of the person being vaccinated.

VFC

This is where the vaccine is developed.

IRBM RESEARCHER

This is where we carry out all the tests to characterize the vaccine and essentially to test this vial. This is the vial that will contain the vaccine once produced, to see if it fulfils the quality and safety requirements.

DI LORENZO

We hope the batch for animal trials will be ready by the end of June and the batch for human trials will follow by the end of July.

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