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Researchers VIDO Step Up Focus on COVID-19 Variants
Dr. Andrew Van Kessel - Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization

Farmscape for July 14, 2021

The Associate Director Research with VIDO-InterVac says scientists working on VIDO's new COVID-19 vaccine are already looking to improve its effectiveness in protecting against emerging variants of the virus.
The Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization's COVID-19 vaccine is now undergoing phase one human clinical trials.
Dr. Andrew Van Kessel, the Associate Director Research with VIDO-InterVac, expects this vaccine to be well suited for regions that have been slower in moving forward with vaccination.

Clip-Dr. Andrew Van Kessel-VIDO-InterVac:
As the audience probably well knows, while we're very fortunate in North America and Europe and a number of countries, to be well advanced in the vaccine rollout many of the low-income countries in Africa and Asia are lagging behind so we see an opportunity for this vaccine to help with Canada's international effort in supporting low- and middle-income countries.
The vaccine is well suited there to be used as a first step in terms of protecting against infection.
In Canada, this remains to be determined but perhaps we're looking at annual boosts of some sort in order to continue our protection against this virus and that may be a future for VIDO's vaccine as well.
I would also say that we have started to look at a modified vaccine that will allow us to respond better to variants of concern that arise so that, as we move forward, we're well positioned to be able respond to any of the variants that might appear and hopefully don't escape any of the current vaccines.
Certainly, the current vaccines are showing good efficacy against these variants but we don't know what the future will hold and we're moving to develop our vaccine to enhance that protection against variant’s as they might arise.

Dr. Van Kessel notes in order to complete its phase one and phase two studies researchers are looking at going to international sites to find a population of unvaccinated people.
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Bruce Cochrane.

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