White House Chief Medical Adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci recently underscored the government’s investment in a universalthat could successfully combat all variants. In an interview with NBC Thursday, Fauci said there was a concerted effort to develop a universal COVID vaccine that “would mean that the initial vaccination would cover all of these little variants, so you wouldn’t have to worry.”
“We want a pan-coronavirus vaccine so that you have it on the shelf to respond to the next viral pandemic,” Fauci said. “Ultimately, you want to get a vaccine that covers everything.”
That dream of a universal vaccine is exactly what researchers at the US Army’s Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) have been working on for most of the past year. In December, the US Army announced that its pan-coronavirus vaccine, the spike ferritin nanoparticle COVID-19 vaccine (aka SpFN) had completed Phase 1 of human trials with positive results.
Dr. Kayvon Modjarrad, director of infectious diseases at WRAIR and co-inventor of SpFN, told Defense One, “We’re testing our vaccine against all the different variants, including omicron,” the strain, even in people who have received booster shots.
SpFN still needs to undergo Phase 2 and 3 human trials, though, to test its efficacy and safety in comparison to current treatments, Modjarrad said.
We’ll share what we know about the Army’s COVID-19 vaccine, including how it works and when it could become available.
For more, here’s what we know about theand the evolving definition of what it means t .
What is the US Army COVID-19 vaccine?
The three vaccines authorized right now for use in the US take two approaches to preventing COVID-19 infection: The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines useto build up immunity, while the Johnson & Johnson vaccine uses a harmless rhinovirus to train the body’s immune system to respond to COVID.
The Spike Ferritin Nanoparticle COVID-19 vaccine, or SpFN, takes a third approach, using a harmless portion of the COVID-19 virus to spur the body’s defenses against COVID.
SpFN also has less restrictive storage and handling requirements than the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, allowing it to be used in a wider variety of situations. It can be stored between 36 and 46 degrees Fahrenheit for up to six months and at room temperature for up to one month, according to military scientists. Pfizer’s vaccine requires an ultracold freezer (between minus 112 and minus 76 degrees F) for shipment and storage and is only stable for 31 days when stored in a refrigerator.
The Army’s vaccine has been tested with two shots, 28 days apart, and also with a third shot after six months…Read more>>