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Iran launches human trial of its first domestic mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine

This picture shows vials of Iranian-made COReNAPCIN coronavirus vaccine, which has been developed and manufactured on the basis of the messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) technology. (Photo by Fars news agency)

Iran has launched human trial of its first homegrown coronavirus vaccine developed and manufactured on the basis of the breakthrough messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) technology.

The Islamic Republic had already unveiled at least five other COVID-19 vaccines produced domestically based on a recombinant protein.

A volunteer received a dose of the new vaccine, dubbed COReNAPCIN and developed by Tehran-based and knowledge-based company ReNAP Group, during a Saturday ceremony attended by head of ReNAP Group Dr. Vahid Khoddami, the director of the biotechnology department, at the Iranian Vice Presidency for Science and Technology Dr. Mostafa Qanei and other Iranian health officials.

Messenger RNA is a type of RNA that is necessary for protein production. In cells, mRNA uses the information in genes to create a blueprint for making proteins. Once cells finish making a protein, they quickly break down the mRNA. mRNA from vaccines does not enter the nucleus and does not alter DNA.

Antibodies help protect the body against infection by recognizing individual viruses or other pathogens, attaching to them, and marking the pathogens for destruction. 

Once produced, antibodies remain in the body, even after the body has rid itself of the pathogen, so that the immune system can quickly respond if exposed again. 

If a person is exposed to a virus after receiving mRNA vaccination for it, antibodies can quickly recognize it, attach to it, and mark it for destruction before it can cause serious illness.

Iran is reportedly the sixth country in the world and the first country in West Asia to acquire the ability to produce the coronavirus vaccine.

Considering that five coronavirus vaccines have so far been produced domestically, Iran is one of the few countries that has all vaccine production platforms.

A total of 21 knowledge-based companies are operating to produce 50 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine monthly and 600 million doses annually, according to IRNA news agency.

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