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Single Vaccine Created by US Army for All Variants

Scientists at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research intend to announce in the next weeks that they have produced a vaccine that protects against COVID-19 and all of its variants, including Omicron, as well as prior SARS-related viruses that have killed millions of people across the world. The accomplishment is the product of over two years of viral research. In early 2020, the Army lab obtained the first COVID-19 virus DNA sequencing.

Walter Reed’s infectious diseases branch made the decision early on to focus on developing a vaccine that would protect against not only the existing strain but also any prospective mutations. The Spike Ferritin Nanoparticle COVID-19 vaccine, or SpFN, developed by Walter Reed, successfully concluded animal studies earlier this year.

Dr. Kayvon Modjarrad, director of Walter Reed’s infectious diseases section, stated in an exclusive interview with Defense One that phase one of human trials, which tested the vaccine against Omicron and other variations, concluded up this month with positive results that are receiving final review.

Unlike other vaccines, Walter Reed’s SpFN employs a soccer ball-shaped protein with 24 faces, allowing scientists to bind the spikes of multiple coronavirus strains to different faces of the protein. “It’s incredibly exciting for our entire team and, I believe, for the entire Army to reach to this position,” Modjarrad added. The vaccine’s human trials took longer than planned, he said, because the scientists needed to test it on people who had never been vaccinated or had been infected with COVID before.

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