Covid US: Army starts clinical testing trial for its OWN vaccine

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In early tests, the shot appears to prompt high levels of antibodies that should block the older 'wild-type' coronavirus, three major variants and even the related pathogen that caused SARS.
The U.S. Army has launched clinical testing for its 'next-generation' COVID-19 vaccine that's designed to protect against the pandemic virus, its variants and other coronaviruses.

In early tests, the shot appears to prompt high levels of antibodies that should block the older 'wild-type' coronavirus, three major variants and even SARS-CoV-1, the similar pathogen that triggered the SARS epidemic in 2002.

Developed at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR), the shot could have the potential to prevent future viruses from setting off pandemics, the scientists behind it hope.

Its first clinical trial, launched this week, will test the shot in 72 health volunteers between ages 18 and 55.

US Army scientists have launched clinical trials in 72 participants for its coronavirus vaccine which triggered antibodies to multiple variants in early tests - and could even work broadly enough to prevent illness from future coronaviruses and their variants (file)

The three COVID-19 vaccines available under emergency use authorization (EUA) in the U.S. are highly effective against the form that was spreading like wildfire in 2020.

But the UK's more infectious B117 variant is now dominant in the U.S., Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officials announced Wednesday.

Vaccines still protect against B117, but new threats have emerged.

Variants first identified in South Africa, Brazil, New York, California and India all have mutations that make scientists worry the variants could evade antibodies triggered by the vaccines.

So far, all three vaccines authorized in the U.S. - as well as AstraZeneca's beleaguered shot - appear to be weakened by, but still protective against, variants from…
Natalie Rahhal U.S., By Natalie Rahhal U.S. Health Editor
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