This oral vaccine will be cheap, plus it can be "stored and transported without refrigeration."
A yeast-based oral Covid-19 vaccine is currently being developed by a Filipino-American inventor. A molecular biologist and a priest at the same time, Nicanor Austriaco is hoping to make a vaccine that will be affordable for Filipinos.
According to a report, Father Austriaco is a University of the Philippines (UP) – OCTA Research Fellow working for the country’s pandemic management efforts. He is also a Visiting Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Santo Tomas (UST) and a Biology Professor at Rhode Island, USA’s Providence College.
In a recent conference, Father Austriaco shared that his goal is to “try and develop an oral yeast-based vaccine for the Philippines that will be cheap and effective.” Additionally, he wanted to created something that can be “stored and transported without refrigeration”.
The priest-scientist further pointed out:
“The reason why the pandemic was so devastating around the world with 100 million have been affected by SARS-CoV2 in less than a year is because no one has any antibodies against SARS-CoV2.”
As of the moment, Philippines has secured deals from Russia (Gamaleya) and China (Sinovac and Sinopharm) while still waiting for vaccines coming from western countries (such as AstraZeneca, Moderna, and Pfizer).
Austriaco likewise compared his project to popular Japanese milk drink Yakult, saying:
“The goal here is that if we are able to develop this oral vaccine, then we would make something like Yakult. You will just take the yeast and you would drink the yeast every day.
“This is just a crazy idea but it’s worth trying. Otherwise we will wait for one or two years here in the country to vaccinate our entire population.”
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