The Biden administration has been competing to maximize the number of Americans vaccinated with COVID-19, but government researchers are also working on what the next generation of vaccines will look like. ..
Biden administration Maximize the number of vaccinated Americans For COVID-19, government researchers have also been working on what the next generation of vaccines will look like.
They can be combined with seasonal flu vaccines, or come in the form of pills or patches instead of shots. Scientists also envision vaccines that may protect against viruses other than SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, and avoid future pandemics.
And they are assessing whether fully vaccinated people may need booster shots later this year. Additional shots may be substantially the same as the first dose, given as a protective measure against the potential for weakened immunity, or fine-tuned to protect against the mutant strain causing concern. there is.
Here’s what we know about the next generation of coronavirus vaccines:
Three major vaccine manufacturers with US-approved shots, Pfizer, modern,and Johnson & Johnson, Are there any plans for additional shots or are already testing. Booster shots are expected to be very similar to current vaccines, but may be offered in lower doses.
“We understand that many vaccines, whether nine or twelve months, need to be boosted at some point, and we are preparing for that,” the government said. Dr. David Kessler, Chief Scientific Officer for COVID-19, told lawmakers. last month..
Boosters may also be blended with annual seasonal flu shots.Modana said he is planning an early test of these types of combination shots. this year.. Other combinations of vaccines are already frequently used to vaccinate infants against multiple illnesses. Visit of a single doctor..
However, government officials say they have not yet reached a decision on how booster shots will be used or if they will be needed.
How about the variant?
Boostershot updates the body’s immunity to the virus by mimicking some of the original strains first identified in China, but vaccine makers are also trying to fine-tune the dose to deal with it. New variant Some of SARS-CoV-2 can spread more rapidly and cause more serious illness.
This is not uncommon. Seasonal influenza vaccines are changed regularly to address mutations found in viruses around the world.
Dr. John Mascola, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Vaccine Research Center, said understanding SARS-CoV-2 mutations is a “main focus” for federal scientists.
NIH has devoted funding and researchers from across the campus to answer important questions about virus variations. Some scientists are focused on testing the potential effects of mutations on vaccine efficacy. Others are working to better understand and map their “epitope”, a spot where antibodies can target the characteristic peplomer of SARS-CoV-2.
“This is a kind of basic scientific body of knowledge that can not only guide antibody therapy in the long run, but also vaccine design. Basically,” I understand how the virus escapes. Can you explain that? ”Explained the Mascola.
modern And Pfizer Although we are pursuing both possible versions of doses tailored to the B.1.351 mutant first discovered in South Africa, previous studies have shown that current vaccines are mostly effective against the mutant. It has been suggested that there may be. The AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine, which is not licensed for use in the United States, “Minimal” protection Against South African variants.
“The reason they chose that strain is because it’s one of the things we know right now, there are variants of concern, and it’s the most antigenically different,” Mascola said. ..
Mascola also raised the possibility of providing more protection by developing boosters in South African variants.
“For example, boosting with a B.1.351 strain and finding that the serum antibody is broader may be the preferred approach as it neutralizes not only the original strain but also B.1.351 and other variants. I added. Mascola.
Fly the needle
After the record demands of the pandemic have strained the complex global supply chain, great efforts are underway to devise vaccines that are independent of needle and syringe administration. For some projects, vaccine storage and transportation may be easier without the expensive freezer and dry ice currently required for Moderna and Pfizer vaccines.
For example, future doses may be inhaled through the nose instead of being shot in the arm. NIH Recently advertised promising results From a single-dose intranasal vaccine tested in monkeys, as well as AstraZeneca.
Last year, the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Bureau (BARDA) Wearable patch or pillThrough initial testing and regulatory approval, we assign agency experts to shepherd developers.
Vaxess Technologies Claim The self-applying patch is a shelf-stable food that is painless and delivers the vaccine through microscopic “projections” that dissolve in the skin.
“We may use a variety of technologies to collaborate with companies and partner with six vaccine candidates currently supported by the US government,” said Gary Disbrow, director of BARDA.
BARDA hopes that companies will be able to show in small trials that they will elicit the same type of immune response as currently approved vaccine doses and become available to the general public.
“This technique has also been shown for other viral pathogens, but we are trying to support them for clinical trials. Again, timing is these correlations for protection. It depends a lot on being able to identify, “Disbrow added.
“Pan coronavirus” vaccine
Walter Reed Army Research Institute Scientist Recently announced Early trials of vaccines that depend on “spiked ferritin nanoparticles” have shown some promising results against a variant of SARS-CoV-2 and a previous related virus known as SARS-CoV-1. I am.
“For the past four years, we’ve been working on a break from one virus, one vaccine, and really try to get the vaccine for the future,” said WRAIR’s Emerging Infectious Diseases Division. Said M. Gordon Joyce, a top scientist at.
Unlike other vaccines currently licensed, doses of WRAIR will provide engineered triplets of peplomer proteins that are expected to train the immune system to produce higher amounts and diverse antibodies. Designed for. Like other classic “protein vaccines,” developers may prove that these doses are more robust than vaccines that require a carefully controlled climate to remain stable. Say there is.
Researchers say they are discussing with commercial partners for possible next steps for their shots. Current batches of doses being tested may develop into “variant proof” vaccines, booster shots, or serve as a “proof of principle” for future vaccines targeting a wider group of coronaviruses. ..
“We didn’t expect to be here already with a viral vaccine like pan-SARS, but it looks like we could be there,” said Kayvon Modjarrad, director of WRAIR’s Emerging Infectious Diseases Division. Says.
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