This second possibility would stimulate an immune response “ at the local level”, in order to hit the virus very quickly “where it enters”.
“The goal is to not just protect against disease, but to protect against its acquisition, and with that, transmission,” Fauci explained.
Many studies are currently underway to develop this type of vaccine.
Concerning a universal vaccine against all coronaviruses, two strategies are being studied, detailed Dr. Fauci: using an element common to all the targeted viruses, or a “mosaic” approach, by taking multiple parts of the virus.
Current vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer do indeed target the virus's only Spike protein on its surface, but this is susceptible to mutations.
< p> Achieving such a universal vaccine remains “ambitious” for the moment, however, warned Dr. Fauci, stressing the important role to be played by the pharmaceutical industry in this goal.
In the meantime, the US executive has asked the companies supplying the current vaccines to update their formula so that it confers efficacy enhanced against the Omicron variant specifically. The government is hoping for a major recall campaign with this new formula in the fall.