Many traditional vaccines are based on a weakened or modified form of virus, or parts of it, but the Imperial vaccine is based on a new approach, using synthetic strands of genetic code, called RNA, which mimic the virus.Once injected into muscle, the RNA self-amplifies – generating copies of itself – and instructs the body’s own cells to make copies of a spike protein found on the outside of the virus.Those doses have been produced in the US, but later this year manufacturing is switching to the UK, so that if and when it needs to be mass produced, it can be done here.Prof Shattock and his team say there are no particular safety concerns with their jab – it’s simply the newness of the approach which is making them proceed with caution.”If our approach works and the vaccine provides effective protection against disease, it could revolutionise how we respond to disease outbreaks in future.” Chief investigator for the study, Dr Katrina Pollock, added: “I wouldn’t be working on this trial if I didn’t feel cautiously optimistic that we will see a great immune response in our participants.

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