Could DNA vaccines be the next tool in the world’s battle against COVID?

A DNA vaccine is a form of a software vaccine, explained Tel Aviv University’s Prof. Jonathan Gershoni.

A software vaccine is one in which scientists vaccinate with the blueprint of the virus – just the DNA or the RNA corresponding to the genes that code for the spike protein – injecting it in a palatable and effective way into the body. The cells then synthesize the viral protein, which leads to the production of antibodies against the viral spike.

This is as opposed to a hardware vaccine, which actually contains hardware, that is physical bits and pieces of the virus protein.

“You can have a hardware vaccine that consists of a killed virus, for example, or an attenuated virus,” Gershoni explained. “Or you can have a subunit vaccine as well, such as the vaccine for Hepatitis B, which is just purified spike protein.

“The immune system identifies the presence of the viral protein… and that stimulates the immune system to respond and make highly specific targeted antibodies that inactivate the virus.”

All of the traditional childhood vaccines that exist today are hardware vaccines.