Scientists at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research are expected to announce that they’ve created a vaccine that will be effective against all COVID-19 and SARS variants, including Omicron, in the coming weeks, Defense One reported.
Walter Reed’s infectious diseases branch soon chose to focus on inventing a vaccine that would prove effective against all variants, not just the original.
The vaccine lab eventually completed animal testing in early 2021 with positive results, and Phase 1 human trials finished in December. The human trials tested the vaccine against the Omicron variant and also had positive results, Dr. Kayvon Modjarrad, director of Walter Reed’s infectious diseases branch, told Defense One.
Walter Reed’s Spike Ferritin Nanoparticle COVID-19 vaccine (SpFN) uses a soccer-ball-shaped protein with 24 faces, which allows scientists to attach spikes of multiple coronavirus strains on different faces of the protein, Defense One reported.
“It’s very exciting to get to this point for our entire team and I think for the entire Army as well,” Modjarrad said.
“With Omicron, there’s no way really to escape this virus. You’re not going to be able to avoid it,” he added. “So I think pretty soon either the whole world will be vaccinated or have been infected.”
The next step in the process will be to see how the vaccine interacts with people who have already been vaccinated or contracted the virus, Defense One reported.
“We need to evaluate it in the real-world setting and try to understand how does the vaccine perform in much larger numbers of individuals who have already been vaccinated with something else initially…or already been sick,” Modjarrad said.
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