June 30, 2022 – Ask a celebrity sibling and they’ll tell you they don’t come close to getting the same attention. The same goes for coronaviruses – the one that causes COVID-19 has been in the spotlight for over 2 years now, while the others are currently circulating in relative obscurity.
Knowing that one of the other coronaviruses could pose a serious future threat, Pizer and his partner BioNTech announced plans on Wednesday to develop a vaccine that will work against SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19). ) and the entire class or family of related coronaviruses.
Human trials of this “pan-coronavirus” vaccine are planned 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 “sustainable variant protection.”
“I applaud the sentiment that is long overdue,” said Eric Topol, MD, when asked to comment. “It is crucial that we are one step ahead of the virus, and the best way is to develop pan-beta coronavirus vaccines that are variant resistant.”
“We had the potential to get them into clinical trials many 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, officials sounded the coronavirus alarm behind Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).
The coronavirus family is large, but only seven coronavirus types can infect humans, the CDC reports. Most cause mild to moderate upper respiratory infections, although some people can develop pneumonia or bronchiolitis.
Unless you are a virologist, immunologist, or public health official, you may not know that coronaviruses are one of the causes of the common cold, for example.