Army to announce vaccine that protects from ALL COVID, SARS variants

Army to announce vaccine that protects from ALL COVID, SARS variants

December 22, 2021

Army to announce it has developed a single vaccine that protects from ALL variants of COVID and SARS

  • Walter Reed Army Institute of Research is set to announce the development of a vaccine that is effective against all COVID and SARS variants 
  • Army researchers at Walter Reed have been working on a vaccine for two years
  • The Spike Ferritin Nanoparticle COVID-19 vaccine (SpFN) has so far been proven to protect against all existing and potential variants of the viruses 
  • The Omicron COVID variant has been quickly spreading across the world and is set to become the dominant variant in coming weeks 

After nearly two years, scientists at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research believe they have developed a vaccine that is effective against all COVID and SARS variants. 

Researchers at Walter Reed expect to officially announce the completion of the vaccine in the coming weeks, Defense One first reported. 

The Army began working on the Spike Ferritin Nanoparticle COVID-19 vaccine (SpFN) in early 2020. 

From the beginning, they worked to create a vaccine that would protect against all existing and potential variants of the viruses. 

The lab completed animal trials earlier this year with positive results before being approved for Phase 1 of human trials in April 2021. 

Walter Reed Army Institute of Research is set to announce the development of a vaccine that is effective against all existing and potential COVID and SARS variants 

The Spike Ferritin Nanoparticle COVID-19 vaccine (SpFN) is set to officially be announced in the next few weeks as Omicron is expected to become the dominant strain

Dr. Kayvon Modjarrad, director of Walter Reed’s infectious diseases branch, confirmed to Defense One that Phase 1 successfully finished earlier this month testing against Omicron and other existing variants. 

Results showed that the SpFN vaccine creates both a strong immune response and broad protection against multiple COVID and SARS variants. 

‘The accelerating emergence of human coronaviruses throughout the past two decades and the rise of SARS-CoV-2 variants, including most recently Omicron, underscore the continued need for next-generation preemptive vaccines that confer broad protection against coronavirus diseases,’ Modjarrad said.

‘It’s very exciting to get to this point for our entire team and I think for the entire Army as well,’ he continued. 

Phase 1 tested the vaccine on human subjects who had neither been vaccinated nor previously infected with COVID.  Next, the vaccine will need to be tested on human subjects who have been vaccinated or previously tested positive for the virus.  

‘With Omicron, there’s no way really to escape this virus. You’re not going to be able to avoid it. So I think pretty soon either the whole world will be vaccinated or have been infected,’ Modjarrad said. 

Walter Reed is working with an unnamed industry partner for the next rollout of the vaccine. 

Army researchers have been working on the all encompassing vaccine for nearly two years 

The vaccine successfully completed Phase 1 of human trials earlier this month with human subjects who had neither been vaccinated or previously infected with the virus 

‘Our strategy has been to develop a ‘pan-coronavirus’ vaccine technology that could potentially offer safe, effective and durable protection against multiple coronavirus strains and species,’ Modjarrad said.

The SpFN vaccine uses a soccer ball-shaped protein with 24 faces which allows the spikes of multiple coronavirus strains to be attached on different faces of the protein. 

The Army’s discovery comes as the Omicron variant has caused a recent spike of the COVID around the world. 

The Omicron variant is now causing about three in four new COVID-19 cases nationwide, and 90% of cases in at least five states, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced on Monday.

In New York and New Jersey, the Midwest, the Southeast, the Gulf Coast, and the Northwest, the Omicron variant now account for more than 90 percent of new cases.

While other regions currently have lower Omicron prevalence, the variant is spreading fast enough that officials expect it will be dominant throughout the country within weeks. 

Omicron spreads three to five times as fast as the Delta variant, scientists estimate.

Even if it causes more mild disease, high numbers of cases can still create an enormous burden for already-overstretched hospitals.

The Omicron variant was first identified in South Africa and Botswana in late November. Within a month, it’s become the dominant variant in the U.S.

Omicron’s capacity to spread more rapidly than any other variant has allowed it to take over in a matter of weeks, new CDC data show.

As of December 18, the Omicron variant is causing 73 percent of new Covid cases nationwide.

That’s about a six-fold increase from the prior week, when it caused 13 percent of new cases.

As Omicron continues to quickly spread, a new study found that those who are unvaccinated but were previously infected by the Delta variant may have very little protection against Omicron.  

Researchers from the Medical University of Innsbruck, in Austria, tested the blood of those who had beat the older strain of the virus against the new super-variant to measure antibody levels.

They found only one out of seven samples produced enough of the infection-fighting proteins to neutralize Omicron.

COVID survivors who were also fully vaccinated showed an increased ability to combat the strain, though.  

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