Spotlight on Vaccine Research
Vaccines have saved lives for more than 200 years, but the research area continues to evolve with new discoveries, advances that provide more effective and safer vaccines. With new knowledge, doors are opening to develop vaccines against, for example, cancer, dementia and cardiovascular disease. The COVID-19 pandemic has given vaccine research a real boost.
Curious about mRNA vaccines
The very first vaccines against the new corona virus are a breakthrough on several levels. Not only were they developed extremely fast, they are based on new technology whereby the vaccine primes the body’s immune system.
New to the vaccine gang
The new mRNA vaccines are super smart inventions but so are old vaccines. Several different vaccine types will be important in the fight against covid-19, researchers believe.
The story about Moderna and the mRNA vaccine
The success of the mRNA-based vaccines is a boost for the entire mRNA field and can lead to new treatments for completely different diseases. This is the view of KI Professor Kenneth Chien, co-founder of Moderna, one of the companies that has developed a COVID-19 vaccine.
New generation of corona vaccine shows promising results
Researchers at Karolinska Institutet are developing a coronavirus vaccine designed to be less sensitive to mutations and equipped for future strains. The vaccine showed promising results in mice in a newly published study in EMBO Molecular Medicine, and the researchers now hope to be able to take it to safety studies on humans.
Mucosal antibodies in the airways provide durable protection against SARS-CoV-2
High levels of mucosal IgA antibodies in the airways protect against SARS-CoV-2 infection for at least eight months. Omicron infection generates durable mucosal antibodies, reducing the risk of re-infection. These are the findings of a study published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases by researchers at Karolinska Institutet and Danderyd Hospital in Sweden. The results raise further hope for the feasibility of future nasal vaccine platforms to protect against infection.
No increase in pregnancy complications after COVID-19 vaccination
Vaccination against COVID-19 during pregnancy is not associated with a higher risk of pregnancy complications, according to a large-scale registry study from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden and the Norwegian Institute of Public Health published in the journal JAMA.
mRNA booster vaccines may be a good investment in resource-poor countries
Vaccines based on inactivated SARS-CoV-2 virus are commonly used in resource-poor countries due to their low cost. New research from KI shows that a booster shot of mRNA vaccine to individuals who have received two doses of inactivated vaccine offers the same level of protection against COVID-19 as three doses of mRNA vaccine.
COVID-19 vaccine from new vaccine platform effective in mice
It is necessary to develop additional COVID-19 vaccines, as different vaccine approaches have their advantages and disadvantages and may work synergistically. Researchers at KI report that they have developed a prototype vaccine against SARS-CoV-2.
KI participates in the construction of a vaccine network in the EU
The European Commission has launched a contingency plan to meet the challenge of the various mutations of the coronavirus. Researchers at KI are contributing by joining the new network Vaccelerate for the evaluation and testing of new vaccines.
New type of pneumococcal vaccine developed by KI scientists
Researchers at Karolinska Institutet have identified a new vaccine candidate against pneumococci, bacteria that can cause pneumonia, sepsis, and meningitis. The vaccine molecules comprise nano-sized membrane vesicles produced by the bacteria and provide protection in mice, a new study published in PNAS reports.
New treatment principle for chronic hepatitis B and D infections
A new immunological treatment against hepatitis B and D viruses, both of which can cause liver cancer, shows promising results in animal models. Results from the treatment, which is being developed by researchers at Karolinska Institutet, have been published in the journal Gut.
Vaccine protects against more HPV viruses than previously known
Two studies involving researchers at Karolinska Institutet, among others, show that common HPV vaccines provide lasting protection against more human papillomavirus (HPV) variants than the vaccines were developed for.
NIH grant for HIV vaccine design
KI Professor Gunilla Karlsson Hedestam is awarded a 1.8 million Dollar grant from the US funding-body NIH for her research on B cells and HIV vaccine design. A key component of the project is to study genetic properties of the B cell repertoire.
Promising vaccine for Crimean-Congo virus
A study led from Karolinska Institutet give hope that it soon will be possible to vaccinate against the Crimean-Congo virus, that causes a fatal haemorrhagic fever. A new vaccine has been tested in primates and show promising results.
HPV vaccine effective against cervical cancer
Women vaccinated against HPV have a significantly lower risk of developing cervical cancer, shows a study by researchers at Karolinska Institutet published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The positive effect is most pronounced for women vaccinated at a young age.
Swine flu vaccination did not increase risk of autism
A large study by researchers at Karolinska Institutet refutes previous findings that vaccinating pregnant women against "swine flu" or seasonal influenza might be associated with increased risk of autism spectrum disorder in the offspring.
New whooping cough vaccine shows promise
A clinical phase I study led by the Public Health Agency of Sweden and researchers from Karolinska Institutet shows that a new vaccine for pertussis (whooping cough) given as drops into the nose is more efficacious than the current vaccine.
Link between vaccines and allergies dismissed
KI researchers have followed the development of allergies in children who were not vaccinated according to the Swedish recommendations and compared with children who followed the national vaccination programme. The result: Vaccination in childhood does not lead to allergies.
Fear of vaccines
How false vaccine rumours take hold
Rumours spread faster than ever nowadays thanks to social media, and it is easy to get carried away. Some people are also inherently more vulnerable to conspiracy theories. However, sceptics’ concerns should be addressed, not dismissed, say researchers who are studying people’s willingness to take different kinds of vaccines.
Good vaccine news counters online skepticism – for a limited time
Media coverage of positive vaccine research can have a positive effect on overall social media sentiment countering vaccine misinformation, but the effects wane over time. This according to a new study by researchers at KI and Oxford University.
Important with transparency
The proportion of Swedes who intend to take the COVID-19 vaccine has increased in recent months, but many are still unsure or state that they intend to skip vaccination. According to researchers, it is important to take peoples' fears seriously and to inform about both the pros and cons of vaccines.
Find out more about vaccines
Here we have collected information from several public authorities, for those who want to learn more about COVID-19 and other vaccinations in Sweden.
Some of our researchers in this area
Qualitative aspects of immunological memory
Gunilla Karlsson Hedestam focuses on the function of B lymphocytes and qualitative aspects of immunological memory. Among other things, she is interested in the role of specific pathways affecting B cell development and function to understand processes that regulate B cell selection and differentiation.
How the immune system responds to vaccination
Karin Loré studies how the immune system responds to vaccination. In particular, she focuses on how immune-stimulating substances can induce stronger responses which is important for the development of vaccines to infections like hiv/aids and malaria.
Vaccines against type 1 diabetes on the agenda
The idea that type 1 diabetes is caused by a virus is an old hypothesis that has recently been revived. Malin Flodström Tullberg researches on the link between enteroviruses and type 1 diabetes. She also hopes to be able to contribute to a new enterovirus vaccine.
Vaccines against CCHF and COVID-19
Ali Mirazimi is Adjunct Professor at the Department of Laboratory Medicine and is, among other things, working to develop vaccines against the Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF) and COVID-19.
Developing a coronavirus vaccine
Matti Sällberg is a professor of Biomedical Analysis and studies how hepatitis viruses can cause infection and disease. In recent years he has among other things focused on vaccine research and developing a coronavirus vaccine.