Dr. Drew Weissman of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine is looking for a universal vaccine against coronavirus.
“There have been three coronavirus epidemics in the last 20 years. The problem with the pursuit of options is that by the time you get the vaccine, the option is gone and a new option will appear, ”Weissman said.
The vaccine pioneer and immunologist says his team began working on a universal vaccine back in 2020.
“The challenge is which antigens to use. This is what the vaccine contains, against which you make the body react, ”Weissman said.
But he adds that it is not an easy task.
“For pancanovirus, a vaccine that has to infect hundreds of thousands of different viruses, you have to find a common antigen that interacts with different bat coronaviruses,” Weissman said.
There is already some success here.
“We have identified a couple. Two of them have already been published, and they demonstrate very broad protection against all the coronaviruses of bats that we have, ”Weissman said.
Weissman hopes that clinical trials of the universal vaccine will begin in about a year and a half.
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