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New vaccine could protect against coronaviruses which have yet to emerge

A new vaccine could be effective against coronaviruses which have yet to emerge, with hopes it could be used to battle future pandemics, research suggests.

Scientists at the University of Cambridge, the University of Oxford, and Caltech in the US are developing a novel approach called “proactive vaccinology”, which aims to train the body’s immune system to recognise several different coronaviruses.

The vaccine used antigens – a substance that triggers an immune response in the body – found in eight different coronaviruses, including those circulating in bats. This trains the immune system to go after the parts of the antigens that are shared across the viruses and other similar ones, including those not included in the vaccine.

“Our focus is to create a vaccine that will protect us against the next coronavirus pandemic, and have it ready before the pandemic has even started,” said Rory Hills, a graduate researcher in the University of Cambridge’s Department of Pharmacology and first author of the report.

He added: “We’ve created a vaccine that provides protection against a broad range of different coronaviruses – including ones we don’t even know about yet.”

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Source: Independent, 7 May 2024


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