coronavirus

Mosaic-8: Researchers Say Vaccine Could Help Protect Against Future COVID Variants

If the vaccine becomes a reality, it may be promising to fight not just COVID but other viruses as well

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As the country, and the Bay Area, face the dominant BA.5 COVID subvariant, a new vaccine is being developed.

Mosaic-8, the new vaccine being developed at Caltech and Oxford, is raising questions about what it could offer to fight the more transmissible COVID subvariant.

Experts say the Mosaic-8 vaccine could be a game changer since it's not like anything we've seen so far.

The big caveat is it's still in very early stages of testing and Phase 1 - testing in humans - may only take place at some point this year.

If the vaccine becomes a reality, it may be promising to fight not just COVID but other viruses as well.

Mosaic-8 uses nanoparticle fragments of eight strains of coronavirus, including COVID-19, which means it could protect from future variants and new strains, researchers said.

"I think the big hope is that with this kind of vaccine, that we will be able to protect the population from a future COVID, Sars or Mers," UCSF infectious disease expert Dr. Peter Chin-Hong told NBC Bay Area.

This gives a glimpse into how health experts are looking ahead to tackle viruses and hopefully prevent a future pandemic.

Currently, the BA.5 omicron subvariant is spreading across the country.

Chin-Hong said we are not in a surge, but we are plateaued at a high and not coming down.

Hospitalizations remain low, but there is a growing concern that hospitals are starting to see more patients who are not boosted.

"Vaccines will still be great at preventing serious disease, hospitalizations and death," Chin-Hong said. "But they are increasingly becoming very challenging as a strategy to just prevent infection, and infections can cause a lot of disruptions in society."

You can read more about the mosaic-8 vaccine at Caltech.edu.

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