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Vaccine Development For COVID Viruses Currently And In The Future

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(CTN News) – There is a growing interest among scientists in developing a vaccine to combat strains of the COVID virus SARS-CoV-2 that have yet to emerge.

In mouse studies, the efforts of a British team at the University of Cambridge are already showing promising results. Rory Hills, the study’s first author, remains optimistic despite the fact that mouse studies do not always translate to human applications.

In a university news release, Hills, a graduate pharmacology researcher at Cambridge, explained that his research is focused on developing a vaccine that will protect us from the next Coronavirus pandemic.

In order to develop a vaccine that shields against viruses that have not yet appeared, Hills’ research team used a relatively new approach called “proactive vaccination”.

A new Coronavirus does not have to emerge before steps can be taken. The study’s senior author and Cambridge professor of pharmacology, Mark Howarth, says that it is now possible to develop vaccines against unknown coronaviruses based on the current understanding of coronaviruses and their immune responses.

In addition, nanotechnology plays a key role in the research. A vaccine works by causing the human immune system to recognize and attack one key “antigen” on the surface of a particular germ. A single antigen can become weak, however, if new viral strains emerge.

Researchers used a nanoparticle called a Quartet Nanocage that is made up of proteins that are held together by incredibly strong interactions, according to a news release.

The researchers then engineered different viral antigens to embed themselves within this nanocage.

This could theoretically lead to a vaccine that sensitizes immune cells to a range of Coronaviruses.

There is evidence that the strategy works in mice. According to the researchers, mice who received the vaccine were protected from 2003’s SARS outbreak even though it did not contain SARS-CoV-1.

Their reasoning is that nanocage vaccines are relatively easy to develop, and that could be a boon to human clinical trials.

“We have developed a vaccine that provides protection against a wide range of Coronaviruses – including ones we aren’t even aware of,” Hills said.

In the news release, Howarth noted that the new initiatives build on past achievements.

As a result of the last pandemic, scientists produced an extremely effective COVID quickly, but there was still a massive crisis and a high death toll around the world. The key is to begin developing vaccines in advance, and starting to do so in advance is an important part of that process.”


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Alishba Waris is an independent journalist working for CTN News. She brings a wealth of experience and a keen eye for detail to her reporting. With a knack for uncovering the truth, Waris isn't afraid to ask tough questions and hold those in power accountable. Her writing is clear, concise, and cuts through the noise, delivering the facts readers need to stay informed. Waris's dedication to ethical journalism shines through in her hard-hitting yet fair coverage of important issues.

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