Nature, Published online: 24 June 2020; doi:10.1038/d41586-020-00502-w
30 July — Vaccine candidate protects monkeys from infection
An experimental coronavirus vaccine seems to have completely prevented infection in most monkeys that received the jab.
Hanneke Schuitemaker at Janssen Vaccines and Prevention in Leiden, the Netherlands, Dan Barouch at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts, and their colleagues gave 32 rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) a single dose of one of 7 vaccines (N. B. Mercado et al. Nature http://doi.org/d5d4; 2020). Each vaccine comprised a weakened respiratory virus coding for one of seven forms of SARS-CoV-2’s spike protein.
After vaccination, nearly all the monkeys made neutralizing antibodies — powerful immune molecules that can block infection — and T cells that trigger other immune responses. When monkeys were exposed to SARS-CoV-2, the most potent of the vaccines prevented lung infection in six out of six animals that received it, and nasal infection in five out of six.