US Army Develops a Single Vaccine that Protects Against All COVID-19 Variants—Including Omicron | The Weather Channel – Articles from The Weather Channel

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Representational Image. (Kuntal Chakrabarty/IANS)

Representational Image.

(Kuntal Chakrabarty/IANS)

Within weeks, scientists at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research of the US Army are expected to announce the development of a vaccine that may be effective against all novel coronavirus variants — Omicron as well as the other previous variants that have killed millions of people worldwide.

The Walter Reed Army Institute of Research is the largest biomedical research facility administered by the US Department of Defense. The achievement results from almost two years of work on the virus. The US Army lab received its first DNA sequencing of the COVID-19-causing virus in early 2020. Very early on, Walter Reed’s infectious diseases branch decided to focus on making a vaccine that would work against not just the existing strain, but all of its potential variants as well, the Defence One report said.

Walter Reed’s Spike Ferritin Nanoparticle COVID-19 vaccine, or SpFN, completed animal trials earlier this year with positive results. Phase 1 of human trials, which tested the vaccine against Omicron and the other variants, wrapped up this month, again with positive results that are undergoing final review, Dr Kayvon Modjarrad, director of Walter Reed’s infectious diseases branch said.

Unlike existing vaccines, Walter Reed’s SpFN uses a ball-shaped soccer protein with 24 faces for its vaccine, allowing scientists to attach the spikes of multiple coronavirus strains on different faces of the protein. “It’s exhilarating to get to this point for our entire team, and I think for the entire Army as well,” Modjarrad said.

The vaccine’s human trials took longer than expected, he said, because the lab needed to test the vaccine on subjects who had neither been vaccinated nor previously infected with COVID-19.

Increasing vaccination rates and the rapid spread of the Delta and Omicron variants made that problematic. “With Omicron, there’s no way really to escape this virus. You’re not going to be able to avoid it. So I think pretty soon either the whole world will be vaccinated or have been infected,” Modjarrad said, the report added.

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The above article has been published from a wire source with minimal modifications to the headline and text.



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