VIDO Begins Development of Next Generation of Coronavirus Vaccines

May 01, 2023

The Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization at the University of Saskatchewan has begun the development of the next generation of coronavirus vaccines.

Two subunit vaccines, COVAC-1 and COVAC-2, developed by the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization to protect against COVID-19 are undergoing human clinical trials and, with funding from the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation, VIDO has started to develop of a more broadly effective coronavirus vaccine that could offer protection against SARS-CoV-2 variants and other sarbecoviruses.

Dr. Trina Racine, the Director of Vaccine Development with VIDO, believes this is the direction the vaccine field is headed.

Clip-Dr. Trina Racine-Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization:

We would call the COVAC-1 and the COVAC-2 vaccine our first generation of COVID-19 vaccines and what we're doing now is trying to develop a pan sarbecovirus vaccine.Sarbecovirus is a big long word to cover a whole range of coronaviruses.

In this we have SARS-CoV-2 which is responsible for COVID-19 but it also contains SARS-1 which happened as an outbreak in Canada and Asia in the early 2000s.
Also in that group of viruses are a whole bunch of bat viruses and other animals that have the potential to spill over into the human population and so, by trying to develop a vaccine that can cover this much wider range of viruses, we're hoping to produce something that will protect us from not only what has already been circulating in humans but has the potential to circulate in humans if there should ever be another transmission from an animal to humans.

Dr. Racine says, because this new pan sarbecovirus vaccine is more broadly protective, the hope is to make something that will only need to be administered once every few years and that will protect people longer against a wider variety of infections.

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