Researchers at Goethe University in Frankfurt described their findings in a study published on Thursday, but not yet reviewed. The AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are vector-based, acting on the basis of adenovirus, which serves as a carrier for coronavirus genetic information.
Experts believe that the problem is that the adenovirus enters directly into the nucleus of the cell, not just its membrane, where the virus normally produces proteins. “Part of the viral DNA is not designed to be transcribed inside the nucleus,” the researchers explain in the study.
Within the cell nucleus, portions of the spike protein fuse or split to form mutated versions. These are then excreted by the cells into the body and, in rare cases, can cause blood clots to form. According to Professor Rolf Marschalk, head of research, this happens to about one in 100,000 people.
He believes that it is possible to improve vaccines so that thrombosis does not occur at all. According to him, vaccine manufacturers must modify the sequence of the genome to prevent the division of the spike protein.
According to the Financial Times, Johnson & Johnson should have contacted Marschalk’s scientific team for help finding a way to modify the vaccine. “We support further research and analysis of these rare cases, working with experts and health authorities,” said the pharmaceutical company.
Marschalk’s team has not yet spoken to AstraZeneca and has not yet contacted them. Rare and severe blood clots have been reported by the authorities in hundreds of people after vaccination with vector vaccines.
In contrast, mRNA-based vaccines such as Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna are designed so that the spike protein enters the cell membrane, not the nucleus. Cases of blood clots have not been associated with these vaccines.
However, many experts point out that so far this is only a hypothesis that needs to be verified.
Due to blood clots, states began restricting vaccination with the vaccines in March and April. You can find out more information in the TV Nova report: