Researchers at the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG) and Fiocruz Minas are developing a vaccine capable of protecting, at the same time, against the influenza virus – which causes the flu – and SarsCov 2, which causes Covid.
According to Professor Ricardo Gazinelli, the immunizing agent prevents the life cycle of the virus, causing a good response in the body’s defense.
“The idea is, we take a protein from the influenza virus and prevent it from leaving the cell, stopping its multiplication. Then we use a protein from SarsCov 2. The result is an immune response for both viruses,” he said.
The expectation is that it will not be necessary to apply booster doses of influenza vaccine and Covid separately. One application will serve to prevent both diseases..
“If everything works out, it ends up generating a much more affordable cost, also facilitating the production of the immunizing agent”, said the professor.
The research is in the pre-clinical phase, still in tests with mice. The prediction is that clinical trials, in humans, start in the middle of next year.
The Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MCTIC), the Research Support Foundation of Minas Gerais (Fapemig), the Research Support Foundation of São Paulo (Fapesp) and Fiocruz are financing the pre-clinical phase. There are still no resources to follow up the research after this stage.