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The WHO analyzes the development of a universal vaccine against covid-19


The World Health Organization (WHO) is in consultations with scientists around the world on the possibility of developing a universal vaccine capable of protecting against the different variants and subvariants of covid-19, an expert from the organization said today. “An ambition of many scientists is to achieve a universal vaccine that can help protect the population from a wide range of coronaviruses,” research and development specialist Ana María Henao-Restrepo said at a press conference.

The scientist indicated that the WHO has deployed a collaboration plan with experts from around the world to evaluate the possible development of this vaccine. The omicron variant is practically the only one that continues to circulate in the world (more than 99% of cases), according to the genetic sequences of the virus received by the WHO, but from this, up to five subvariants and a recombination of two of them have already emerged.

“We see a confluence of omicron strains and this will probably continue to happen in the future. We have to be prepared for the possibility that this virus changes so much that it tests existing immunity, “WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan warned. To avoid this, she said that the best defense at the moment is for immunization coverage to be extended in countries where there are still significant parts of the population without access to vaccines.

One of the groups that most worries the WHO is that of people over 65 years of age, who require three doses to achieve total immunity. However, the organization has detected that there are many countries where the vaccination coverage of this age group is still very low, particularly in Africa, where only one in four has the full guideline. “Older populations are the most difficult to access because they are not in routine immunization programs and may have mobility problems, so we have to see where we can help them,” he concluded.

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