Can a single vaccine protect us from multiple strains of the novel coronavirus?
India has been hit with a devastating 2nd wave of COVID-19. Over 2.94 lakhs cases were recorded on Tuesday (April 20, 2021) and with a rising number of mutations in the novel coronavirus may turn available vaccines less effective. But, what if there is a vaccine that can fight multiple strains of COVID-19?
A vaccine-production platform created by the University of Virginia Health System (UVA) claims to offer protection against existing and future strains of the virus.The vaccine, created by Dr Steven L Zeichner and Dr Xiang-Jin Meng targets a specific part of the virus that earlier vaccines did not — the fusion peptide. Fusion peptide is part of the spike protein that is universal
among all genetic sequences of SARS-CoV-2. The new vaccine then synthesises the DNA of the virus that enables the immune system to recognise an attack and mount a response.
Meng and Zeichner made two vaccines, one designed to protect against Covid-19, and another designed to protect against porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV).The vaccine is cheap at $1 a dose and the results from animal testing are positive. But more trials including those on human are required
before the vaccine could be approved by regulatory agencies around the world.