The Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine uses an inactivated virus to trigger the human defense mechanism, the same method that permanently wiped out deadly diseases such as smallpox.
The main idea behind classical vaccination is to introduce into the human or animal subject a virus in a harmless form so as to trigger the immune response, or the body’s defense mechanism. This then generates antibodies that subsequently bind to the virus when it tries to infect the human or animal with the disease.
The binding of the antibodies to the virus identifies the latter as a foreign, nefarious object trying to invade the body. The defense cells of the body recognize these harmful viruses and destroy them using different chemical and physical methods.
The vaccination process uses the natural defense mechanism of the body to ensure that it does not get infected with the virus the vaccine targets. If you are already infected, the vaccine cannot act as a medicine to kill the virus. It is only before you are infected that the vaccine will work in generating antibodies to provide you protection in case of a future infection.
As far as COVID-19 vaccines are concerned, there are currently several that have been used in human trials. The Moroccan government chose the Chinese vaccine developed by the company Sinopharm for the country’s national vaccination campaign.
The Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine uses the classical method of using an inactivated virus to trigger the human defense mechanism.
This inactivated virus can be of two different kinds; one involves killing the virus completely and using bits and pieces of it to induce the human defense mechanism. The other uses a more classical technique where the harmful effects of the virus are reduced to a bare minimum so that it cannot cause disease but it is still alive enough to trigger the defense mechanism of the body.
Sinopharm appears to be using the latter mechanism, where an attenuated virus triggers the body’s defense mechanism.
The same technique gave rise to the discovery of the process of vaccination in the late 18th century. Edward Jenner used the live cowpox virus, which only caused mild disease in humans, to inoculate against the deadlier smallpox disease.
This led to Luis Pasteur’s discovery that different techniques can also be used to reduce the deadly effects of any bacteria or virus (he used chicken cholera) by chemical and other means to get a weak bacteria or virus. The weak bacteria or virus cannot cause the disease but can trigger the immune response, thus providing chickens protection from any subsequent infection.
This technique has proved to be a very safe and effective method of providing protection against deadly diseases such as measles, mumps, polio, rubella, smallpox, and numerous others, some of which have been completely wiped out due to massive vaccination.
Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine
The Sinopharm vaccine for COVID-19 uses the classical method of injecting an inactivated virus to trigger the human defense mechanism to provide long term protection. This vaccine has already been tested in 10 different countries including Morocco, the UAE, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Peru, and Argentina.
More than 60,000 volunteers have been vaccinated in clinical trials, which have shown the Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine triggers a defense response after 14 days of the second dose, which was enough to provide recipients protection against any subsequent attack by the coronavirus.
They have also shown in a smaller set of individuals that none of these vaccinated individuals suffered from COVID-19 even though they were exposed naturally to the virus. The company intends to produce by the end of this year 100 million doses of this vaccine and Morocco is one of the lucky countries to benefit from this initial batch.