The U.S. Army’s ‘pan-coronavirus’ vaccine, that should be effective against all strains of the virus – current and future – has begun human trials.
ABC News reports that the shot showed promise in initial trials in monkeys, and has now started to be tested in people.
The proposed jab would not only be effective against Covid, and all of its variants, but also other types of the virus like SARS-CoV and other potential mutations of the coronaviruses that could emerge as well.
Clamors for a more universal vaccine has loudened in recent weeks, as the Omicron variant became a clear example of how the virus can mutate and suddenly strike a highly vaccinated population that feels safe from the virus.
The U.S. Army has started human trials of a coronavirus ‘super-vaccine’ that is effective against all strains of the virus, past and future. The jab showed promise in monkey trials, and is now moving to the next stage. Dr Anthony Fauci said earlier this month that the jab is necessary, but it still could be years until it is available. Pictured: A National Guard member in Marietta, Georgia, receives a shot of a COVID-19 vaccine
The ‘super-vaccine’, as it has been dubbed, is being developed by a team of researchers at the Walter Reed Army Institute in Silver Spring, Maryland.
The Army is hoping the new vaccine could be the key to controlling Covid, and other potential versions of the coronavirus that could emerge in the future.
While it could take years for the shot to come to fruition and be available for regular human use, it could be a potential game changer.
The rise of COVID-19, also known as SARS-CoV-2, caught the world off guard when it was first discovered in late 2019.
It is not the first version of a coronavirus to erupt in the world, though, and it likely will not be the last.
In 2002, SARS, or SARS-CoV, erupted in China and quickly spread worldwide as well.
It was not nearly as devastating as its successor nearly two decades later, as it was so deadly to the people it did infect that it had trouble jumping from person-to-person.
Less than 1,000 total deaths were recorded, and there has not been a known infection since 2004.
Coronaviruses returning, and now showing the ability to quickly mutate into new, more infectious, strains that can evade vaccine-induced protection has made many worry that the virus will last forever – continuing to mutate and outracing science’s ability to create effective vaccines.
Earlier this month, the World Health Organization’s Technical Advisory Group on COVID-19 Vaccine Composition (TAG-CO-VAC) released a report saying the frequent vaccine development and rollout is not a ‘sustainable’ way to handle the virus going forward.
‘With near- and medium-term supply of the available vaccines, the need for equity in access to vaccines across countries to achieve global public health goals, programmatic considerations including vaccine demand, and evolution of the virus, a vaccination strategy based on repeated booster doses of the original vaccine composition is unlikely to be appropriate or sustainable,’ TAG-CO-VAC wrote.
Dr Anthony Fauci, America’s top infectious disease expert, also said earlier this month that a pan-coronavirus vaccine would be necessary to not only solve the COVID-19 pandemic, but future ones as well.
‘The importance of developing a pan-coronavirus vaccine, namely one that would be effective against all SARS-CoV-2 variants, and ultimately against all coronaviruses, becomes even more apparent,’ Fauci said during a U.S. Senate hearing.
‘…there’s a lot of investment, not only in improving the vaccines that we have for SARS-CoV-2, but a lot of work… to develop the next generation of vaccines, particularly universal coronavirus vaccines.’
It may be a while until those come around, though, and the strategy of frequent booster shots after an initial vaccine regimen should be enough to control the virus, at least for now, according to Fauci.