Scientists Create Coronavirus Vaccine That Works Even on Viruses They Don't Know Yet

Scientists have created a new jab that protects against multiple coronaviruses, even ones they haven't yet discovered!

Experts from the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge and Caltech in California want to "proactively" build a vaccine before the next pandemic.

Rory Hills, a Ph.D. researcher in pharmacology at the University of Cambridge, said: "Our focus is to create a vaccine that will protect us from the next coronavirus pandemic and have it ready before the pandemic has even started.

He added: "We've created a vaccine that protects against a wide range of different coronaviruses .... including ones we don't even know about yet.

The scientists have published their results in Nature Nanotechnology and hope to start clinical trials of their new vaccine by early 2025.

The Mail Online reports: The experimental shot, which has so far only been tested on mice, works by training the immune system to recognise parts of many different coronaviruses, a family of viruses that includes Covid, SARS and MERS. 

Current vaccines work by training the immune system to target a single specific type of virus, such as the measles jab. But the new jab can target several.

Such a jab could allow people to be protected from multiple types of coronaviruses in a single dose, including, in theory, ones currently unknown to science. 

The jab works by using a tiny ball of proteins called a ‘quartet nanocage’.

Scientists then used what they called a ‘protein superglue’ to attach antigens which are substances that trigger an immune response in the body, enabling it to fight off pathogens. 

The resulting vaccine enables the immune system to recognise parts of eight coronaviruses. 

This includes some that are currently only found in wild bats but that could, in theory, go on to infect humans in future.

Using multiple antigens in this way allows the immune system to target parts of coronaviruses common across many individual viruses, including some that haven’t been found yet. 

For example, tests showed the jab helped mice fight off SARS-Cov-1, the pathogen that caused the 2003 SARS outbreak.

This is despite the jab not including any samples from this virus specifically. 

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