Jab that protects against multiple variants 'at least two years away'

There were “core scientific challenges” to developing a vaccine that could protect against many mutations of the virus.

Covid Variants, Richard Hatchett

20/1/2022 3:30:00 AM

There were “core scientific challenges” to developing a vaccine that could protect against many mutations of the virus.

A vaccine that provides broad protection against many different Covid variants is at least two years away, a vaccine expert has warned.

Scientists hope to create a"100-day" vaccine - Alexandru Pavalache/EyeEmthat provides broad protection against many different Covid variants is at least two years away, a vaccine expert has warned.He said studies showed that people who were infected with Sars, a closely related virus that caused an epidemic in 2003 to 2004, also produced antibodies to Covid

“100-day” vaccine that would stop the next pandemic in its tracksBy contrast, the first Covid vaccine was developed in 11 months - while this was an “unprecedented” acceleration of the normal vaccine development timeline it “wasn’t good enough”, said Dr Hatchett.

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Read full article 18 January 2022, 9:33 pm · Scientists hope to create a"100-day" vaccine - Alexandru Pavalache/EyeEm A vaccine that provides broad protection against many different Covid variants is at least two years away, a vaccine expert has warned.LinkedIn GENEVA: Moderna aims to roll out a combined Covid-flu-RSV booster vaccine in late 2023, the US pharmaceutical firm said on Monday (Jan 17), hoping a joint jab would encourage people to get an annual shot.More than two-thirds of the common side-effects people experience after a Covid jab can be attributed to a negative version of the placebo effect rather than the vaccine itself, researchers claim.LinkedIn French biotech firm Valneva said on Wednesday (Jan 19) that preliminary studies showed that three doses of its inactivated COVID-19 vaccine candidate neutralised the Omicron variant of the disease.

Dr Richard Hatchett, chief executive of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (Cepi), an organisation that has helped fund several Covid jabs, told an online press briefing that there were “core scientific challenges” to developing a vaccine that could protect against many different mutations of the virus. Dr Hatchett said that broadly protective vaccines were “at least a couple of years away”. "Best-case scenario will be the fall of '23," Moderna chief executive Stephane Bancel told a virtual World Economic Forum roundtable session. If a new variant emerged that acted in a significantly different way to omicron and other variants “plausibly we could have another Covid epidemic”. In view of their results, the researchers argue that better public information about nocebo responses may improve Covid vaccine uptake by reducing the concerns that make some people hesitant. He said studies showed that people who were infected with Sars, a closely related virus that caused an epidemic in 2003 to 2004, also produced antibodies to Covid “Biologically, we know that it’s possible but the question is how do we now capture that and put it into a vaccine that we can easily administer? That’s going to take some time,” he said. "Our goal is to be able to have a single annual booster so that we don't have compliance issues where people don't want to get two to three shots a winter, but to get one dose. Dr Hatchett made his comments at a press briefing where the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Wellcome pledged $150 million each to Cepi for its bid to develop a “100-day” vaccine that would stop the next pandemic in its tracks . Valneva's stock has slumped since the start of this year as investors worried over EMA comments on awaiting further data.

With its vaccine “moonshot'' Cepi plans to develop prototype vaccines for the 25 viral families known to infect humans. Moderna's experimental flu shot, targeting four major strains, is based on the same mRNA method used in its COVID-19 jabs.” Kaptchuck and Dr Julia Haas at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston analysed adverse events reported during a dozen clinical trials of Covid vaccines. When the next virus with pandemic potential emerges, scientists hope they will be able to build on the prototype to develop a vaccine ready for use within 100 days. By contrast, the first Covid vaccine was developed in 11 months - while this was an “unprecedented” acceleration of the normal vaccine development timeline it “wasn’t good enough”, said Dr Hatchett. While Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine was based on the original strain of the virus, it was working on finishing an Omicron-specific jab within weeks, ahead of trials, said Bancel. “If our 100-day goal had been achieved for Covid-19 a vaccine could have been available as early as April 2020. Writing in the journal Jama Network Open , the researchers describe how after the first injection more than 35% of those in the placebo groups experienced so-called “systemic” side-effects, such as headache and fatigue, with 16% reporting site-specific ailments including arm pain or redness or swelling at the injection site. Millions of lives and trillions of dollars could have been saved and the spread of dangerous variants which have clearly prolonged the pandemic might have been averted,” he said." HUNT FOR"HOLY GRAIL" Beyond a vaccine specific to Omicron - which is rapidly becoming the world's dominant strain - laboratories are also pursuing a vaccine that works against all current and future COVID-19 mutations.

Story continues Cepi helped fund the AstraZeneca, Novavax and Moderna vaccines and is also funding jabs against other diseases with and Lassa fever. Bill Gates said the $150m would bring his foundation’s total funding of Cepi to $270m. "That would be the holy grail because we really don't want to be in position where we're chasing the new variants that are going to come. When the researchers looked at side-effects after the second jab, they found the rate of headaches or other systemic symptoms was nearly twice as high in the vaccine group compared with the placebo group, at 61% and 32% respectively. “When we talk about spending billions of dollars to save trillions in economic damage and 10s of millions of lives, it’s a pretty good insurance policy. Particularly if you can take that investment and build better vaccines for diseases like TB, HIV and malaria,” he said." Top US pandemic advisor Anthony Fauci added:"We really don't want to get into the whack-a-mole approach towards every new variant . But he said that as well as vaccine development it was also important to fund infrastructure such as manufacturing facilities and logistics. While evidence suggests that information about side-effects can cause people to misattribute common ailments to the vaccine, or make people hyper-alert to how they are feeling, Kaptchuk argues for more information about side-effects, not less.

, the global vaccine sharing facility, in its bid to vaccinate the world as there is still no major manufacturing facility in Africa, for example.. Sir Jeremy Farrar, director of Wellcome, said the world needed a global approach to pandemic preparedness. “Whilst many countries have understandably focused on their domestic challenges over the last few years we have to change that approach." Bancel meanwhile said that Moderna had shipped 807 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine in 2021, of which a quarter went to middle and low-income countries. Honesty is the way to go. We have to come back together across borders, across continents and put our differences aside for the common good,” he said. But he also cautioned that the virus remains “highly elastic and is still adapting to humanity”..

“The arrival of omicron represents a new troubling phase and shows just how in the balance this pandemic is. None of us believe omicron will be the last variant or that Covid-19 will be the last pandemic,” he said. And he said while the UK had turned a corner with the number of cases falling the pandemic was not over. “We now need to make vaccines available globally and that will be when we bring this phase of the pandemic to a close,” he said. Protect yourself and your family by learning more about .