Why Fauci wants US to make vaccine prototypes for 20 viruses

Anthony Fauci, MD, is encouraging the U.S. to prepare for future pandemics by developing vaccine prototypes for about 20 virus families, The New York Times reported July 25.

A large group of academic researchers, supported by grants, would study the molecular structure of each virus to understand how antibodies could thwart it and how to stimulate the body to make those antibodies.

When COVID-19 hit, the world lucked out in that scientists had spent years studying coronaviruses and could immediately start developing vaccines once the virus' genetic sequence was available, according to the Times. Dr. Fauci's proposal seeks to mitigate the consequences of a future pandemic caused by a less-studied virus. The idea is to quickly manufacture the prototype vaccine as soon as a new virus is detected by surveillance networks to stop it from spreading globally.

The plan would cost a few billion dollars annually with the goal of having 10 vaccine prototypes done within the first five years. Dr. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said he's been promoting the idea "in discussions with the White House and others."

"If we get the funding, which I believe we will, it likely will start in 2022," Dr. Fauci told the Times.

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