The importance of the continued development of new and advanced vaccines to continue the fight against COVID-19 has been emphasised by Dr Anthony Fauci, President Biden’s chief medical advisor.
Speaking in the White House in July, Fauci, who will retire in December after half a century in government, gave an outline of the future direction of next-generation vaccines while stressing that the fight against COVID-19 is not over.
“Our job is not done”, Fauci said as he highlighted the need to adopt innovative approaches to fully protect against the coronaviruses which we know and those we don’t.
According to Fauci, however, vaccine development is becoming increasingly complicated to tackle the ‘sublineages of sublineages’ of COVID variants. While the current injectable vaccines work well to prevent severe disease, they do little to prevent infection and transmission. To tackle this, Fauci is advocating for pan-coronavirus vaccines and mucosal options which can be administered intranasally and which can prevent infection and transmission, thereby reducing the development of new variants.
Currently, vaccine manufacturers such as Moderna and Pfizer are heading into autumn with Omicron-specific vaccines, as recommended by the FDA. Work continues on vaccine production — Moderna has recently struck deals to build new plants and R&D sites in Australia, the UK, Canada and Kenya while Pfizer group president Angela Hwang has spoken of the value of lessons learned from the pandemic using the wealth of data obtained through the vaccination process to make that production process better and to help design new therapies.
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