Scientists Are Hoping to Develop a Universal Coronavirus Vaccine
A pan-coronavirus vaccine could protect against SARS-CoV-2 and multiple related viruses
New Covid-19 variants are illustrating how quickly viruses in the coronavirus family can mutate. Already, vaccine manufacturers are reacting to mutations by adapting existing vaccines to keep up with the changes.
But some scientists are taking a more proactive approach: They’re developing a single vaccine that could provide broad protection against multiple coronaviruses: not just SARS-CoV-2, but many others in the same family that could cause human illness.
As Emily Mullin reports in a fascinating new feature for Future Human, some scientists were already working on a universal flu vaccine before the pandemic. They’re now taking what they know from that effort and applying it to making a universal coronavirus vaccine. Doing so involves taking the spike proteins of multiple coronaviruses, sticking them onto a single soccer-ball-like molecule, then delivering the whole package to the human body, hoping it’ll spur the development of many types of antibodies.
One expert referred to such a vaccine as “one vaccine to rule them all.”
Read more in Future Human: