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Fauci addresses need for pan-coronavirus and intranasal vaccines to combat COVID-19 variants

Vaccine manufacturers have been urged to move forward with producing Omicron-targeting formulations

Dr Fauci

Dr Anthony Fauci, chief medical advisor to the Biden administration, addressed the press in a White House speech to shed light on the direction of next-generation vaccines.

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) director specifically detailed the call for pan-coronavirus candidates and mucosal options that can be given to patients intranasally, all the while reinforcing that “innovative approaches are clearly needed to induce broad and durable protection against coronaviruses known and unknown”.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave a recommendation at the end of June, encouraging vaccine manufacturers like Moderna and Pfizer to continue pushing on with Omicron targeting formulations, with the aim of making the vaccines available in autumn this year.

Dr Fauci commented on the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines, highlighting the millions of deaths avoided and trillions of dollars saved in healthcare costs, but cautioned against complacency as vaccine R&D becomes more complex as further “sub-lineages of sub-lineages” of COVID-19 variants emerge.

Dr Fauci bolstered his support for pan-coronavirus vaccines or mucosal treatments that could have the potential to block transmission: “When you have a mucosal, and in this case, intranasal, what you do is you stimulate at the local level.

“The goal of that is not only to protect against disease, but to protect against acquisition and by acquisition, transmission. And that’s really the holy grail.”

At the summit, Paul Burton, Moderna’s chief medical officer, explained the vital role manufacturing has to play as a “key part of the future”. He mentioned that Moderna has recently brokered agreements to build new facilities and R&D sites in the UK, Australia, Canada and Kenya.

“We have to continue these discussions, continue these collaborations to instil confidence,” Burton said. “Getting that confidence and then the ability to get these shots made in countries and into people’s arms I think is how we’re going to continue to get out of the pandemic.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released data showing that cases have begun to rise over recent weeks.

Dr Fauci added that given the current state of play in the pandemic, the data clearly demonstrated that “well fitted” and “high quality” masks – including N96 and KN95 masks – were effective at preventing the transmission of viruses.

Article by
Fleur Jeffries

27th July 2022

From: Healthcare

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