FACT FINDERS: is a universal COVID vaccine possible?

KOLD News 5-5:30 p.m. recurring
Published: Feb. 3, 2022 at 5:48 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - As researchers are working on an omicron specific vaccine what about a universal COVID vaccine that works against all variants?

A universal COVID vaccine, or often called pan-coronavirus vaccine, is something scientists are working on right now. The hope is, such a vaccine would provide protection not just against the COVID variants we know about but future ones as well. Dr. Sean Elliott with Tucson Medical Center says this is quite the feat.

”The science is there but to find the actual targets to vaccinate against, that’s the challenge. And to find the target which will not change or will not change significantly with the new mutation, that’s a challenge,” he said.

Basically, he says researchers are looking for that Achilles’ heel in the virus that is more or less the same for all variants, even as it mutates, so the vaccine can target it.

There are some interesting studies coming from various research groups including the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. After seemingly good results in primates their pan-coronavirus vaccine is now being studied in humans.

Still, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said he expects this will take years to develop.

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