Designers of COVID-19 vaccines appear to have made a spectacularly successful bet. When devising a vaccine against a virus, scientists choose ways to mimic it that they hope will safely teach the immune system how to defeat the foreign invader. For COVID-19, most developers gambled on spike, the protein that allows SARS-CoV-2 to dock onto and infect cells. This week’s announcement by the biotech Moderna that its COVID-19 vaccine powerfully protected people from the disease in an efficacy trial was the strongest sign yet that spike is a winning hand.

 

Image by Willfried Wende from Pixabay

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