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Omicron: Whitty warns of ‘two epidemics on top of one another’

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A new type of vaccination is being tested that does not use a needle.

The needle-free “injection” is administered with a blast of high-pressure air through the skin.

The goal is that this could help extend vaccination to people who suffer from a fear of needles.

The needle-free vaccine may also be cheaper and easier to mass produce.

The Cambridge team also hope their vaccine will be effective against current and future variants.

Professor Jonathan Heeney believes this next generation vaccine will protect against both current and future variants.

He said: “Our vaccine is innovative, both in terms of the way it primes the immune system to respond with a broader protective response to coronaviruses, and how it is delivered.

“Crucially, it is the first step towards a universal coronavirus vaccine we are developing, protecting us not just from COVID-19 variants but from future coronaviruses.”

“Crucially, it is the first step towards a universal coronavirus vaccine we are developing, acticin pharmacy protecting us not just from COVID-19 variants but from future coronaviruses.”

The vaccine developed by DIOSynVax operates differently to previous vaccines in how it trains the immune system.

Vaccines based on the Coronavirus’s spike proteins have seen reduced efficacy against variants containing mutations to those proteins.

To avoid this problem, the team identified other proteins present in coronaviruses that appear more widely conserved between both COVID-19 strains but the wider family of Coronaviruses.

The vaccine includes these, along with some modified versions based on predictions for how the protein could mutate.

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Professor Heeney said: “DIOS-CoVax vaccines target elements of the virus structure that are common to all known ‘beta-coronaviruses’ – those coronaviruses that are the greatest disease threats to humans.

“These are structures that are vitally important to the virus life cycle, which means we can be confident that they are unlikely to change in the future.”

Beta-coronaviruses have been responsible for the current COVID-19 pandemic, previous SARS and MERS outbreaks and the common cold.

If it works as intended, the vaccine could function against the broad spectrum of coronaviruses in circulation.

The vaccine is entering phase I trials in Southampton, recruiting volunteers who have already received two doses of vaccine but have not received a booster jab.

A phase I trial typically has a few dozen people taking part, with the goal of identifying potential side effects.

This trial will follow volunteers for 12 months after the vaccination to ensure the safety of the new technology.

Successive trials will examine more closely the direct efficacy of the product as a vaccine.

Professor Saul Faust, Director of NIHR Southampton Clinical Research Facility said: “This isn’t simply ‘yet another’ coronavirus vaccine as it has both COVID-19 variants and future coronaviruses in its sights.

“This technology could give wide-ranging protection to huge numbers of people worldwide.”

If the phase I trial is successful than the researchers hope to mass produce the vaccine in powder form for easy distribution to countries that are currently in need.

Low and middle-income countries are expected to gain especially from this easy to distribute and administer vaccine.

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