The Minister of Science and Innovation, Pedro Duque, has confirmed that there is already a “vaccine candidate“against the coronavirus at the National Center for Biotechnology (CNB), which is part of the CSIC. As he explained in his appearance in Moncloa, this Thursday he visited the aforementioned laboratory and found that there is already a vaccine candidate, with which they are already 3 potential vaccines against COVID-19 in the world.
“There are 3 vaccines in the world in phase 1, and we believe that ours will be better. I still think that there is a possibility that Spain will find the first useful vaccine, but the race is not over,” said Duque.
The minister wanted to be cautious and although he has made progress, “it seemed that such a vaccine candidate already exists” in a Spanish laboratory, he has dropped that this point could be confirmed “next week.” In addition, as he said, “surely we will have several more candidates since Spanish science is progressing at a very good pace.”
Duque explained that “a vaccine candidate is a product that is beginning to be tested, not one already finished”, and when asked about the dates on the vaccine, he recalled that it normally takes 5 years, but given the circumstances, he anticipates that the process, although “it will not be before next year”.
“In principle, the process takes several years, first it is tested in the test tube, then an adapted animal model is sought, but it is possible and it has already been done in China and the US that we skip a step and test a vaccine in humans directly” , has indicated the minister.
Although he wanted to send a message of optimism, the minister has also called for reflection on the mistakes that have been made in the past in terms of investment in Science and Innovation. “I think we have to work so that in the future we are much better prepared, that we have defined what strategic elements must be local to have production capacity. We have to think that things like this will happen and that we will have to be much better prepared.”
“We have to reflect that it is necessary to give more impetus to innovation; a country with Science and Innovation is much better prepared,” the minister reiterated.