A universal vaccine to end COVID pandemics? It’s in the sights of the army

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The universal army vaccine has shown good results in mice, hamsters and primates.

sergeant. Tanis Kilgore/US Army

For the latest news and information on the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO and CDC websites.

Omicronthe latest version of COVID-19[female[feminineled to an increase in cases and hospitalizations, causing talk of fourth reminders and variant-specific vaccines. But what if there was a universal coronavirus vaccine that protected against omicron and all new variants of COVID-19?

During Wednesday’s press conference, White House chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci explained the term “pan-coronavirus vaccine.”

Says Fauci: “There have been five SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern: alpha, beta, gamma, delta and now the current omicron. And so obviously innovative approaches are needed to induce broad and long-lasting protection against the coronaviruses that are known and some that are even unknown at this point, hence the terminology “pan-coronavirus vaccine”.

In a surprise twist, it’s not ModernPfizer or any pharmaceutical company that conducts pan-coronavirus vaccine research – that’s the US military.

The military recently announced that its pan-coronavirus vaccine, the Ferritin Nanoparticle COVID-19 Vaccine (aka SpFN) has completed Phase 1 of human trials. Publication of the results is expected in January, depending on the completion of the official analysis of the data.

Dr. Kayvon Modjarrad, director of infectious diseases at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) and co-inventor of SpFN, told Defense One: “We are testing our vaccine against all the different variants, including omicron,” strain causing breakthrough infections even in people who received booster shots.

We’ll share what we know about pan-coronavirus vaccines and the military’s COVID-19 vaccine, including how it works and when it might become available.

To find out more, inquire free home COVID testswhy shouldn’t you”end the COVID“, mix and match booster shotsand the difference between N95, KN95 and KF94 masks.

Why do we need a pan-coronavirus vaccine?

Fauci has touted the importance of a universal vaccine to protect against all variants of COVID. During a White House press briefing on Wednesday, he stressed the “urgent need” for a universal coronavirus vaccine.

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has committed to achieving this goal in fall 2021, awarding $36.3 million to three academic organizations – Duke University, University of Wisconsin and Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital – to develop and research pan-coronavirus vaccines. CalTech also announced good early results for its universal “mosaic nanoparticle” vaccine.

In a January 11 advisory statement on the omicron variant, the World Health Organization said that “a vaccination strategy based on repeated booster doses of the original vaccine composition is unlikely to be appropriate or durable” and highlighted the urgent need for a vaccine that provides long-lasting protection without boosters.

What is the US Army’s COVID vaccine?

The three COVID-19 vaccines currently licensed for use in the United States take two approaches to preventing infection: The use of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines mRNA to boost immunity, while the Johnson & Johnson vaccine uses a harmless rhinovirus to train the body’s immune system to respond to COVID.

The Spike Ferritin Nanoparticle COVID-19 vaccine, or SpFN, takes a third approach, using a harmless part of the COVID-19 virus to boost the body’s defenses against COVID.

SpFN also has less restrictive storage and handling requirements than Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, allowing it to be used in a wider variety of situations. According to military scientists, it can be stored at 36 to 46 degrees Fahrenheit for up to six months and at room temperature for up to a month. Pfizer’s vaccine requires an ultracold freezer (between minus 112 and minus 76 degrees F) for shipping and storage and is only stable for 31 days when stored in a refrigerator.

The army vaccine was tested with two injections, 28 days apart, and also with a third injection after six months.

How does the army vaccine against COVID-19 and other coronaviruses work?

Vaccines from Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson all target the specific virus – SARS-CoV-2 – that causes COVID-19. But Army scientists designed their vaccine to protect against future strains of COVID as well as other coronaviruses.

The Army’s SpFN vaccine is shaped like a 24-sided soccer ball. Scientists can attach the spikes of multiple strains of coronavirus to each of the different faces, allowing them to customize the vaccine for any new variants of COVID that arise.

“The accelerated emergence of human coronaviruses over the past two decades and the rise of SARS-CoV-2 variants, including more recently omicron, underscore the continued need for next-generation preventive vaccines that confer broad protection against coronavirus diseases,” Modjarrad said in a December statement. “Our strategy has been to develop a ‘pan-coronavirus’ vaccine technology that could potentially provide safe, effective and long-lasting protection against multiple strains and species of coronavirus.”


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When will the Army’s COVID vaccine be available?

No date has been set. SpFN successfully completed animal testing and completed Phase 1 of human trials in December, but has yet to complete Phase 2 and 3 of human testing, when its safety and efficacy are compared current vaccine options.

Normally, the completion of all three phases can take up to five years, but the urgency of the COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating the process. Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, for example, have been tested, reviewed, and cleared by the Food and Drug Administration over the course of a year.

What happens next with the army’s SpFN vaccine?

According to a WRAIR spokesperson, “Researchers devoted their full attention to analyzing the Phase 1 data and compiling a report of the results.” The report could arrive in the next few weeks or even months.

After the Phase 1 human trial data is released, Phase 2 and 3 trials will begin. There is very little information so far on when or how these trials will take place or if the phases will overlap.

To track the progress of Army vaccine trials, visit the SpFN COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker provided by the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command.

For more on COVID-19, here’s what we know about how the CDC defines being fully vaccinatedHow? ‘Or’ What keep your vaccine card on your phoneand what we still don’t know about the virus After two years.

The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute medical or health advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have about a medical condition or health goals.

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