A Look Into the Next Generation of COVID-19 Vaccines

(VitalNews.org) – According to the National Institutes of Health, the first phase of human trials for a nasal COVID-19 vaccine has started. The clinical trial is sponsored by the federal health agency and is enrolling candidates across three test sites in the United States. Researchers have said that they believe the vaccine candidate may provide better protection.

The chief innovation officer at Boston Children’s Hospital, epidemiologist Dr. John Brownstein, said “The concept is that we’re looking for next-generation vaccines.”

“Throughout the pandemic, we had the incredible scientific breakthrough of COVID vaccines that happened, that got into production incredibly quickly and were safe and effective. But of course, we also recognize that there are challenges of the existing vaccines,” he continued.

The new vaccine candidate is called MPV/S-2P, and it uses a live-weakened version of a virus called the murine pneumonia virus which doesn’t cause disease in humans. This virus will deliver a stabilized version of the spike protein, which is what COVID-19 uses to attach and infect human cells.

Dr. Reynold Panettieri, a professor of medicine at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School at Rutgers University, said, “Viruses like SARS-CoV-2 come into the body through the nose, into the lungs and then gets integrated into our bloodstream and disseminated through the body.”

Said Brownstein, “The current vaccines have diminished efficacy over time.” He continued, “These vaccines were highly protective against severe COVID hospitalizations and deaths, but it wasn’t as effective at slowing cases and preventing transmission.”

The clinical trial for the new vaccine will have sixty healthy adult participants between eighteen and sixty-four years old, and they have to have received at least three doses of the approved COVID-19 vaccine.

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