Dr. Anthony Fauci, speaking by video-link because he contracted COVID-19, told Congress on Thursday his agency is studying vaccines that better target the omicron variant and it will be “paramount” to develop a new generation of shots that can tackle a range of coronaviruses.
Dr. Fauci said existing vaccines can stave off severe disease from spin-offs of the virus first detected in China, especially if someone is boosted. But the National Institutes of Health is trying to increase the breadth of the vaccines’ immune response and improve children’s uptake.
“Looking ahead to the anticipated emergence of new variants, the importance of developing the next generation of coronavirus vaccines is paramount,” said Dr. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
He said NIH has awarded grants in pursuit of a so-called “pan-coronavirus” vaccine.
The 81-year-old doctor sounded slightly raspy after he reported a positive test and mild symptoms. Instead of joining President Biden’s virus team in a Senate hearing room, he spoke from a home office adorned with books and a Washington Nationals jersey on a coat hanger.
As it stands, the Food and Drug Administration is poised to authorize child-sized versions of the existing vaccines to kids aged 6 months to 4 years, who are ineligible now, and is considering ways to reformulate the vaccines to specifically tackle omicron.
A new campaign to convince Americans to get booster shots is likely this fall.
Senate Health Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray said the government must adapt along with the virus.
“We can’t just keep buying the same tests, treatments, and vaccines, especially when the virus is getting more effective at evading them,” Mrs. Murray, Washington Democrat, said.
She said the government needs to help finance the next generation of tests, vaccines, and treatments that are “more effective, or easier to store, transport, and administer, and more.”
Sen. Richard Burr, North Carolina Republican, said the administration keeps asking for money but he still isn’t sure what the plan is, or why countries like Israel seem to be ahead of the curve in deploying vaccines and treatments.
“I ask you one basic question — what’s the plan?” Mr. Burr said. “Where’s that money going? How’s it been spent?”
Denial of responsibility! insideheadline is an automatic aggregator around the global media. All the content are available free on Internet. We have just arranged it in one platform for educational purpose only. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials on our website, please contact us by email – [email protected]. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.