Australian researchers join the race for a vaccine that deals with all Covid variants in ONE SHOT – and it’s almost ready for human trials
- Aussie research into Covid vaccines could pave way for a jab every two years
- Just one jab aims to target all variants, including emerging ones in the future
- The vaccine could make continual boosters over 12 months a thing of the past
- It comes as most Aussies are going for their fourth Covid booster in just one year
- Sydney University researchers are planning to start human trials early next year
A super vaccine designed to smash all Covid variants is in the works with the aim of starting human clinical trials early next year.
A team of scientists from Sydney University are mixing together different Covid mutations to find one jab with the best immunity and combat the need for people to receive multiple vaccines at different times.
The scientists’ hopes are to create a multi-layered jab so proficient in its ‘long-lasting immunity’ that it would be doled out to recipients every two years.
It could make the need for boosters an outdated concept at a time where most Aussies are getting their fourth jab in 12 months for best immunity.
New robust research into a multi-pronged vaccine to target all Covid variants may see people only need a jab once every two years
University of Sydney virologist Dr Megan Steain (pictured) said their research could lead to a new Covid booster designed to target all variants as they come
University of Sydney virologist Dr Megan Steain told News Corp the variants that are infecting Aussies now are slipping past immunity protection provided by the present generation of vaccines.
‘Currently what we are seeing with the Covid-19 pandemic is we are getting a rapid emergence of new variants that have partially escaped some of the immunity, which in generated from our current vaccines,’ Dr Steain said.
‘Our aim is to generate an immunity that will protect us from all possible variants that arise in the future to limit that immune escape.’
The researchers’ goals are part of a race between 12 different teams in the world to create the first multi-effective jab of its kind.
A USA team from the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research has already started the first human clinical trials for multiple coronaviruses.
Israel is trying to produce a vaccine to target different variants in a pill form that dissolves in the mouth.
The research is crucial as vaccine companies are struggling to keep up with the ever-changing variants that are putting up a fight to get past immunity in humans.
Moderna and Pfizer made vaccines for the original Omicron variant earlier this year, yet before they finished trials the variant had mutated into two new robust forms.
Dr Steain said it was not feasible for vaccine makers to continue along this route, emphasising the need for a jab that targets all potential emerging variants in the future.
Another group of Aussie researchers also have a similar plan underway at the Westmead Institute for Medical Research [WIMR] in Sydney.
They are building on a separate ‘T-cell’ vaccine that enhances immunity when it is given alongside other Covid jabs.
It aims to prolong the duration of regular Covid vaccines in the human body by producing more of the T-cells needed to create antibodies.
Moderna and Pfizer made vaccines for the original Omicron variant earlier this year, yet before they finished trials the variant had mutated into two new robust forms (pictured a Melbourne woman gets the Pfizer jab)
When a Covid booster is put into the body it creates two things – antibodies and T-cells – and they fight in tandem to ward off the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which creates the Covid-19 disease.
As antibodies diminish in potency over time, T-cells pick up the slack by creating more antibodies rapidly when infection occurs.
WIMR founder and infectious diseases expert Professor Tony Cunningham told Access News last November the booster has a multi-pronged approach to tackle mutations.
‘We’re trying to develop a booster that doesn’t require changing every time a new variant comes along, it can be used for just simply all variants,’ Professor Cunningham said.
But public health physician Dr Robert Grenfell said making the multi-impact vaccine was no walk in the park as efforts to do the same with the influenza jab have failed.
‘Believe me, there’s been a lot of work done on it and it’s been it’s been fraught with failure. But that certainly doesn’t mean we give up on it with regards to coronavirus,’ he told The Courier-Mail.
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