A universal coronavirus vaccine

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Science  19 Feb 2021:
Vol. 371, Issue 6531, pp. 759
DOI: 10.1126/science.abh0447

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  • RE: Would a Universal COVID-19 Vaccine be Safe, Effective, and Durable?

    The informative and challenging editorial begs the question of whether a universal COVID-19 vaccine be safe, effective, and durable, especially in light of the emergence of mutated strains and variants in the UK, South Africa, Brazil, and the USA.

    The strong and encouraging editorial begins with: "Although this pandemic is far from over, we now have the tools to end it, with the largest and most rapid global deployment of vaccines under way."

    Not only is such a bold statement reassuring, but the emergence of more highly transmissible, infectious, contagious, virulent and deadly escaped mutants suggests that a universal COVID-19 vaccine is warranted, especially if the currently approved vaccines have reduced potency against the mutations.

    There is annoying research on improving the coverage of existing vaccines, as well as mixing and matching a variety of approved vaccines, and only time will tell, whether a prime and booster strategy, with varying temporal durations between the two jabs, single dose vaccines, or combinations thereof, would approach a universal COVID-19 vaccine.

    Modern technology may well empower and enable the development of universal vaccines as "scientifically feasible" to mitigate the spread of the pandemic, and possibly also "to end it" with safety and effectiveness mentioned, though not durability and the other queries raised above.

    It is always much cheaper economically and financially,...

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    Competing Interests: There are no competing interests.

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