How Horses Helped With the Creation Of A COVID-19 Vaccine

People across the United States and Canada began receiving the COVID-19 vaccine this week, less than a year after the novel coronavirus that lead to a worldwide pandemic was first identified. The equine industry played a small but relevant role in this amazing scientific feat.

West Nile Virus first emerged in the United States 1999; in 2005, Fort Dodge Animal Health created a vaccine to protect horses from the mosquito-borne disease. This vaccine was the world’s first DNA vaccine approved for human or animal use—and the technology used to make it became key to creating the COVID-19 vaccine.

Conventional vaccines used a killed or inactive form of a virus that teaches the body how to mount an immune response to it. DNA vaccines use small pieces of genetic material from a virus; the material itself is injected into the recipient and their cells transcribe the DNA into messenger RNA, which creates distinct proteins to jumpstart the body’s immune response. This immune response will defend against the entire virus. Gene-based vaccines are faster to develop and manufacture than traditional vaccines.

Manufactured by Pfizer, the new COVID-19 vaccine is the next generation of genetic vaccines; it’s a novel mRNA vaccine that directly translates into proteins once the cell incorporates it. The equine West Nile DNA vaccine was a beginning step for the creation of this vaccine, proving that nucleic acid-based vaccines were safe and effective.

Read more at EQUUS magazine.

The post How Horses Helped With the Creation Of A COVID-19 Vaccine appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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