The Media and I : Universal Vaccines

By Henry I. Miller, MS, MD — May 30, 2024
John Batchelor and I discussed the ongoing developments and challenges in addressing COVID-19. We emphasized the importance of staying up-to-date with vaccines, especially for older adults with pre-existing conditions, as I’ve always advised. We talked about the concept of a universal vaccine, which, though difficult to achieve, is actively being researched.

I explained that while we’ve been trying to create a universal flu vaccine for years without success, similar efforts are ongoing for COVID-19. The SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID, mutates with each infection, and some of these mutations can evade existing immunity from previous infections or vaccinations, necessitating new solutions. Because immunity from infections and vaccines wanes over time, leading to potential future surges, we need to stay prepared.

John highlighted the promising news (which he was aware of from my recent article) that around 20 next-generation universal COVID vaccines are in preclinical stages, with some already in clinical trials. I clarified that while many preclinical efforts fail, there are several innovative approaches being explored, such as using live weakened adenoviruses, incorporating multiple spike protein genes into mRNA vaccines, and developing self-amplifying mRNA vaccines. These strategies aim to enhance and prolong immunity, offering hope for more effective future protection against COVID-19.


You can listen to my conversation with John Batchelor here 

You can find my most recent article on Universal Vaccines here


Henry I. Miller, MS, MD

Henry I. Miller, MS, MD, is the Glenn Swogger Distinguished Fellow at the American Council on Science and Health. His research focuses on public policy toward science, technology, and medicine, encompassing a number of areas, including pharmaceutical development, genetic engineering, models for regulatory reform, precision medicine, and the emergence of new viral diseases. Dr. Miller served for fifteen years at the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in a number of posts, including as the founding director of the Office of Biotechnology.

Recent articles by this author:
ACSH relies on donors like you. If you enjoy our work, please contribute.

Make your tax-deductible gift today!



Popular articles