The researcher and director of the Institute for Global Health and Emerging Pathogens at Icahn Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, Adolfo García-Sastre, has defended the advantages of a COVID-19 vaccine based on the Newcastle poultry virus, which has no risks for humans.

García-Sastre, who is a professor of medicine and microbiology at the University of Salamanca, has referred to the work that has been carried out in his research center to obtain a vaccine and the treatment of SARS-CoV-2 in the inaugural conference of the II International Silver Economy Congress of Zamora.

The COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the elderly focuses the II International Silver Economy Congress

The rapporteur, who has intervened online, has ensured that a vaccine based on NDV-S or Newcastle virus would allow its fast manufacturing, since the laboratories and facilities that currently manufacture the flu vaccine can be used for this.

“We think that this vaccine can help end the pandemic because the main advantage it has is that it can be produced using the same technology and the same factories that are used to produce flu vaccines “, he assured.

This vaccine based on the Newcastle virus, in whose development its research center collaborates, has already been tested successfully in mice, while in humans clinical trials have just started in phase one and, if it goes well, then it will advance to phases two and three.

“Very promising” vaccines

Regarding the most advanced vaccines, of which the effectiveness percentages have already been announced in human trials, García-Sastre has admitted that are “very promising”, although questions remain to be resolved.

He has also warned that 16 billion doses to vaccinate the entire world population.

Regarding the current treatments used against the new coronavirus, the expert explained that one of the lines of research has been based on analyzing the 332 human proteins that interact with those of the new coronavirus.

Once these proteins are known, it has been sought to discover which are the currently existing drugs that act as inhibitors of any of these proteins to use in the fight against COVID-19. They have carried out trials with 800 drugs, of which 80 have shown some activity and some have given very good results.

The older, “more protected”

Regarding the incidence of the virus in older people, García-Sastre explained that, if the percentage of older people infected in the second wave of the pandemic has been lower, it is because now they are more protected.

The level of contagion, he highlighted, has been lower due to better knowledge of the contagion routes and the greater responsibility now shown by the children and grandchildren of the elderly.