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A research team from Penn Medicine (US), led by Hensley (Ph.D.) and Weissman (MD/Ph.D.) in their study found that a specialized modified-RNA (mRNA) influenza vaccine has successfully protected young mice against infections in the presence of the mother’s antibodies.

This study suggests that this type of vaccine can protect infants against infections.   

It found that maternal antibodies drop to a certain level with the antigen still present enough to prompt an immune response from the infant.   

The study has observed that this could have been possible beacuse of the continuous release of new antigens by the cells for a long period instead of injecting a one-time viral protein shot.   

The development of mRNA is known to be difficult as the presence of high levels of maternal antibodies can cause it can bind to the vaccines and change the immune response towards the vaccine.  

A large number of infants around the world suffers from infections due to the lack of effective vaccines that helps them be protected against it. According to the research team, “The mRNA-based vaccine could potentially help prevent that and as well other influenzas that they may come in contact with”.   

(Source: Drug Target Review, 2020)  

(Clinical Study: AAAS, 2020