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In the US, the vaccine is being tested in the form of capsules

The researchers suggest that they can create a long-term defense against the virus by generating both killer T cells and antibodies.

In the United States, the coronavirus vaccine is being tested in the form of a capsule. The relevant research is being conducted at the Chang Soon-Shiong Institute in El Segundo, California, CBS reports.

It is noted that the oral vaccine is part of an experimental protocol that is being tested on healthy volunteers. Since it is still unknown whether the pills alone can prevent transmission of the virus, the researchers are testing four different approaches.

For example, some participants are given an injection, some are not. Other volunteers are given one dose of the vaccine and given pills twice.

The drug has the form of a capsule, and this is not the only difference between this vaccine and others. While existing vaccines help create antibodies to the spike protein on the surface of the coronavirus, the ImmunityBio T-cell vaccine targets the virus core-a a part that scientists say is less susceptible to mutations.

“The value of this is that we are generating killer T cells,” said ImmunityBio founder and executive chairman Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, the mastermind behind the vaccine.

The researchers suggest that they can create a long-term defense against the virus by generating both killer T cells and antibodies.

According to Sun-Shiong, there is reason to be optimistic about long-term protection, although the candidate vaccine is still in the experimental stage, and its safety and effectiveness still need to be proven.

“We know from previous experience with SARS-CoV-1 in 2003 that those infected then developed T cells that persisted for 17 years,” he said.

As for taking the vaccine, it's not just about avoiding the shot. Sun-Shiong believes that a combination of these two factors may be the key.

“With the injection, we hope to develop T cells throughout your body. And with oral administration, we protect the mucous membranes, the intestines, and hopefully the nose and mouth, because that's how the virus gets (into the body). It doesn't get through your blood,” Sun — Shiong says.

The study involved healthy adults under the age of 55 who did not have COVID-19.

By the way, in May last year, the United States also reported on the development of a vaccine against COVID-19 in the form of tablets.

Recall that in March, Pfizer began testing human pills from COVID-19. If the trials are successful, the pill can be prescribed at an early stage of infection to block the virus from multiplying before patients become very ill.

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