June 30, 2022 – Ask the sibling of any celebrity and they’ll tell you they don’t get the same attention. The same goes for coronaviruses – the one that causes COVID-19 has been in the limelight for over 2 years now, while the others are circulating in relative obscurity at the moment.
Knowing that one of the other coronaviruses could pose a serious future threat, Pizer and its partner BioNTech announced on Wednesday their intention to develop a vaccine that will work against SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) and the virus that causes COVID-19. class, or family, of related coronaviruses.
Human trials of this “pan-coronavirus” vaccine are expected to begin this fall, Reuters reported. The goal of this universal vaccine is to reduce the threat of new variants before they appear – to provide “durable protection against variants”.
“I applaud the sentiment that is long overdue,” said Eric Topol, MD, when asked to comment. “It is crucial that we get ahead of the virus, and the best way is to develop pan-betacoronavirus vaccines that are variant-proof.”
“We had the potential to get them into clinical trials several months ago, but this is the first sign that it could happen,” said Topol, executive vice president of Scripps Research and editor-in-chief of Medscape, WebMD’s sister site for healthcare professionals. .
SARS-CoV-2 is not the first troublemaker in the coronavirus family. SARS, a coronavirus that causes acute respiratory syndrome, emerged in late 2002. A decade later, authorities sounded the alarm about the coronavirus causing Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).
The coronavirus family is large, but only seven types of coronavirus can infect humans, the CDC reports. Most cause mild to moderate upper respiratory infections, although some people may get pneumonia or bronchiolitis.
Unless you’re a virologist, immunologist or public health official, you might not know that coronaviruses are one of the causes of the common cold, for example.