NIH Dir. Collins: COVID vaccines will ‘most likely’ protect against oicron variant, but too soon to tell
The Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) described the ongoing project at his team’s Science Channel series.
“We are seeing very encouraging data on this vaccine. When given to birds, we see concentrations of these vaccines that are very close to the concentrations of the messenger RNA. These vaccines are very safe, they are good for immune system development. They are good for animal models; we did a lot of animal studies that pretty much confirm they work,” Dr. Collins said in an episode of “Episode One”, hosted by medical icon Dr. Oz.
Last November, the NIH began investigating ways to protect against the nasty bacterium that causes Legionnaires’ disease.
CNN reports that more than 200 people died of a “very, very nasty” form of pneumonia in New York City in 2007, sparking nationwide concern about the effects of exposure to the bacterium Legionella. The government began investigating the possible outbreak after 15 people died and more than 100 others were sickened at the Time Warner Center.
The strain responsible for the New York City outbreak has gone missing.
It was through search efforts on a “kill list” issued to scientists by the NIH’s Office of Disease Detectives, that the researchers came across the findings regarding the rarity of this type of bacteria and its potential to wipe out huge numbers of people. Dr. Collins said on the show that the team would “hit the binoculars and take the next shot”.
If successful, the vaccine could be used on humans in the future.
There has been “significant progress” in the Army’s efforts to develop a vaccine against the deadly disease, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said.
In an appearance on “The Dr. Oz Show” last month, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), said that the vaccines to be tested against the bacteria, sometimes called the bubonic plague, have now successfully undergone animal trials. The goal is to begin human trials for the vaccines in five years.
CNN reports that the studies show that the vaccine “could be much more effective at preventing infection than current vaccines, experts say, if the researchers can improve them by boosting the number of active and dormant vaccines to protect against infection.”
However, Fauci noted that the Army’s last attempt at developing a vaccine against the disease failed in the 1990s.
“It certainly isn’t a failure of the disease, it’s a failure of the vaccine,” he said.