The Covid19 pandemic demonstrates how easily the development of new vaccines can become a race against time. Before a new vaccine is ready for approval, it must first be tested for effectiveness and absence of side effects. This involves complex and often time-consuming processes.
A central aspect is the testing of vaccine candidates with regard to their ability to trigger an immune response and initiate antibody production in the human body. For this purpose, the so-called neutralization test is used: The virus is brought into contact with its host cells in the laboratory under controlled conditions and the resulting infection of the host cells is measured. If this experiment is carried out in the presence or absence of a blood sample from previously vaccinated people, the presence and quantity of antibodies can be evaluated on basis of the infection of the host cells and conclusions can be drawn about the effectiveness of the vaccine.