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Indian Scientists Develop 'Warm' COVID-19 Vaccine: Big Points to Know

RS2, a hybrid antigen, remains stable at high temperatures & can combat all current strains of COVID-19, says IISc.

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Researchers at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) have created a COVID-19 vaccine that can remain stable in high temperatures, and is reportedly capable of combating all existing strains of SARS-CoV-2.

The vaccine has so far been tested in hamsters and mice and will soon enter clinical trial in humans. There is no confirmation of when the vaccine may be made available in the market.

Here's everything you need to know about the vaccine.

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Big points:

  • The vaccine, called RS2, a hybrid synthetic antigen, is made using two key parts of the SARS-CoV-2’s spike protein – the S2 subunit and the Receptor Binding Domain (RBD).

  • According to IISC, the vaccine is capable of preventing infection against all four current COVID variants of concern, Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta, and their existing subvariants.

  • The developers claim that it can be easily modified for any future variants.

  • It can also be stored at 37⁰ Celsius for a month without the need for cold storage

  • Trials show it can withstand limited exposure to temperatures as high as 100⁰ Celsius

Why it matters: While there are already several COVID vaccines in the market (including those developed in India), that have to be typically stored and transported in temperatures between 2o to 8o Celsius or they become unstable and potentially ineffective.

This creates logistical issues for their widespread distribution in tropical countries like India.

"Such vaccines are especially useful in countries like India where cold storage and transportation are expensive and challenging. One of the improved formulations is being rapidly moved to clinical development," said researchers at IISC, in a statement.

Moreover, with the COVID-19 virus constantly mutating and evolving, the hybrid makeup of the vaccine allows for room to quickly tailor it to any new variant of SARS-CoV-2 that might be more virulent.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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Topics:  covid vaccine 

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