Jessica Justman, MD, ICAP’s senior technical director, spoke on MSNBC’s “All In with Chris Hayes” on April 28 about the process currently underway for developing a vaccine that could prevent COVID-19.
“This is a strategy of using a virus that is very common, called adenovirus, which can cause a common cold. They make it so it can’t really replicate, and they engineer it so that it has genetic material from another virus inside, like a Trojan horse vaccine. Once it’s inside, the proteins that are going to be synthesized by the genes inside that virus can develop an immune reaction. They’ve been working on this strategy for 20 years, and they have safety data from a MERS vaccine they worked on in the past year, so that allows them to move forward more quickly. I will say that I think their timeline is extremely ambitious. I hope, just like everybody else, that they’re right, and that they can move this quickly.”