This ‘warm vaccine’ may effectively fight all COVID-19 variants

Credit: CSIRO

In a new study from CSIRO, researchers found a heat-tolerant COVID-19 vaccine can fight against all current SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern.

They showed the vaccine formulations triggered a strong immune response in mice, protected hamsters from the virus, and remained stable at 37°C up to a month and at 100°C for up to 90 minutes.

Most vaccines require refrigeration to remain effective, like Oxford-AstraZeneca which must be kept between 2-8°C and Pfizer which requires specialized cold storage at -70°C.

In the study, the team examined vaccinated mice sera (blood samples) for efficacy against key coronavirus variants, including the Delta variant currently spreading globally including in Sydney.

The Mynvax-vaccinated mice sera show a strong response to all variants of the live virus.

The data showed that all formulations of Mynvax tested result in antibodies capable of consistent and effective neutralization of the Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern.

The team says the pandemic has demonstrated the need for global scientific collaboration to address the urgent demand for multiple cost-effective COVID-19 vaccines and treatments.

A thermostable or ‘warm vaccine’ is critical for remote or resource-limited locations with extremely hot climates which lack reliable cold storage supply chains, including regional communities in Australia’s outback and the Indo-Pacific region.

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The study is published in ACS Infectious Diseases. One author of the study is Dr. S.S. Vasan.

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