Assistant Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Dr. Jarbas Barbosa da Silva Jr., says work is under way by researchers to develop a universal or ‘super’ coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine.
It is anticipated that the proposed vaccine will be very effective against all COVID-19 variants and provide permanent protection against the disease.
“We have several candidates [undertaking this research], but they are still in the preclinical… lab-testing phase. We will eventually have some clinical trials,” Dr. Barbosa said.
He was speaking during PAHO’s weekly COVID-19 digital media briefing on Wednesday (February 9).
Reports emerging out of the United States last week indicated that the military has been undertaking the development of a ‘pan-coronavirus vaccine’ – the spike ferritin nanoparticle (SpFN) – for which phase-one human trials have been completed.
The report indicated that the vaccine is being tested against all COVID-19 variants, including Omicron.
Dr. Barbosa emphasised that while super vaccine development is awaited, “let us use [those] that we have”.
“The vaccines that are available now are [also] ‘super vaccines’. They have saved and are still saving millions of lives all over the world. They can reduce serious cases [and] deaths,” he added.
The Assistant Director said this has been proven by the data provided by countries across the region of the Americas and globally, “so let us continue to use [those vaccines]”.