Did you get the novel coronavirus vaccine? I’ll do it. It’s up to you

On March 28, 2021, Dai Lianpan, researcher of Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences and leader of innovative vaccine and immunization research group, delivered a speech: “novel coronavirus vaccine, did you fight?”

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The following is the actual record of Dai Lianpan’s speech: 2021.03.28 Hello Beijing, I’m Dai Lianpan

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Before I begin my speech, I would like to ask you how many of you have been vaccinated? Please raise your hand

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Well, there are still a lot of people

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How many people have been vaccinated at least once? We can see that there are still a few people who have not been vaccinated, but the vaccination rate is still high in Beijing

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So let me tell you the story of our vaccine development《 We know that infectious diseases are a long-term threat to human beings

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Before I begin my speech, I’d like to introduce some movies to you

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This Hollywood blockbuster infectious disease, starring Matt Damon and Jude Law, is about a respiratory disease, how to bring great harm to our society, and ultimately rely on scientific researchers to develop a vaccine to control the epidemic《 The poster of war epidemic is the same

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This Korean film is called war epidemic, also called influenza

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It tells about the spread of a swine influenza virus in South Korea, which has brought serious social burden to South Korea

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In the end, the epidemic can be controlled by isolating effective antibodies from female owners

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There are many films with similar themes

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You can go to see them if you are interested

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These films have been filmed before COVID-19 happened, which means that everyone has a hunch that this new outbreak of infectious diseases is a great threat to us

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For Chinese people, the most profound memory of the SARS epidemic in 2002 is probably the SARS epidemic in 2002

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SARS has a mortality rate of 10%, which is very high

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At that time, the SARS epidemic not only brought great challenges to public health, but also paid a huge price to the society

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Since SARS, we have changed the national public health system and attached great importance to the prevention and control of emerging infectious diseases

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Ten years later, a second coronavirus appeared in the Middle East, which caused a serious disease, Middle East respiratory syndrome (mers)

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Middle East respiratory syndrome (mers) epidemic in 2012 | a typical picture of mers coronavirus is shown on the left side of the picture

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As you can see, in the photo, there are many red spots on the surface of the virus particles, just like the crown, so it is called coronavirus

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It is also a virus transmitted through the respiratory tract, with a mortality rate of 35%, higher than that of SARS

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It is mainly found on camels in the Middle East

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Although camels carry the virus, it does not develop disease

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However, camels are particularly common in the Middle East and are close to people, so the virus spreads to people through close contact with people

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As a result, mers in the Middle East has not been interrupted since the outbreak in 2012, and there are still cases until recently

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The reason is that it has a stable intermediate host

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I went back to China in 2014

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When I was abroad, I was engaged in vaccine research

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After returning to China, I focused on mers, because I wanted to focus on emerging infectious diseases that would have a significant impact on society and make breakthroughs in unsolved problems

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I’m aiming at mers

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I’m at the camel farm in Saudi Arabia

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This is a picture of a camel farm that local people took me to when I visited King Abdullah research center in Saudi Arabia a few years ago

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The camel breeding base is a kind of entertainment place for the Saudis

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We Chinese usually drive to the suburbs on weekends

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For the Saudis, on weekends, they will drive their camels to set up a tent in the desert, spend a day or two, and come back on weekends

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Camels play an important role in the local area

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It is said that most of the local feeders have antibodies against mers virus, which indicates that they may have been infected with mers virus

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Therefore, mers virus is a long-term threat in the Middle East, and it is likely that there will be a large-scale outbreak in the future

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So when I came back to China, my first task was to study the mers virus that causes Middle East respiratory syndrome

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How to study viruses? We know that it takes seven inches to hit a snake, so where is the seven inches of mers coronavirus? It’s in its crown, the receptor binding region RBD

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The receptor binding region acts as a key through which to open the door of the host cell

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The dimer and monomer of RBD are shown in the picture

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Therefore, we started to design vaccines based on the structure of RBD

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We found an interesting phenomenon when we expressed RBD receptor binding domain protein in our laboratory

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After the protein is expressed, there will be a dimer and a monomer

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For those who study the function of proteins, it may be more meaningful to study the monomers binding to receptors, while dimer proteins will be ignored

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But at that time, I thought that this dimer protein might be a very meaningful and interesting target, so we compared the dimer with the monomer and found that the dimer is a very good immunogen

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According to the idea of vaccine design, we did follow-up research

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After repeated design, in vitro and in vivo experiments were carried out, the immunogen structure was modified and designed, and finally a good vaccine was developed through dimer

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The structure of RBD dimer protein of mers virus | cell, auniversal design of betacoronavirus vaccine gainstcovid-19, mers, and SARS / daietal., 2020

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The above picture is a typical form of RBD dimer, and it is especially coincident that it is like our double lung structure

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Rapid industrial transformation of basic research | daietal, 2020, cell we also carried out rapid research based on this structure, and found that it is a general structure that can develop coronavirus vaccine, so we transformed the achievements at the first time, and the enterprises we cooperated with at that time used it for the development of mers vaccine, and soon we had a smooth R & D line, We also explored the process and completed the preclinical verification

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At this time, the “novel coronavirus” broke out in 2020

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At that time, academician Gao Fu told us that COVID-19 had been very serious in Wuhan, so we urgently need to develop vaccines

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The vaccine is one of the ultimate weapons to solve COVID-19, so how can we develop it? At that time, academician Gao and I said that we had a solid foundation, because we had previous experience in dealing with mers, and it was feasible to use it to develop new coronal vaccine

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The preliminary work also prepared us for a rainy day

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Dai Lianpan’s team invested in the research and development of novel coronavirus vaccine | during the Spring Festival, the epidemic situation worsened sharply, so we gave up the Spring Festival holiday and went back to the laboratory

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At that time, the team was called together, and we soon came back during the Chinese New Year

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On the fourth day of the lunar new year, before the school stipulated that students were not allowed to return to school because of the epidemic situation, we had set up a core team to tackle key problems and started the development of novel coronavirus vaccine

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R & D flow chart of recombinant protein vaccine

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This route has been successfully used in the research and development of hepatitis B vaccine and cervical cancer vaccine

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In short, it is the antigen protein of receptor binding region, which is expressed and produced in engineering cells, and then purified.

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