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Opinion/Editorial: From rivals to shared research

Opinion/Editorial: From rivals to shared research

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Tech fans ought to root for UVa, and University of Virginia fans ought to root for Tech …

…to perfect their possible COVID vaccine, that is.

The schools are collaborating on research and recently announced a promising approach that might protect not only against COVID-19 but other viruses as well.

Plus, it would be cheap — easy to make, easy to store and easy to transport, making it accessible to less affluent countries and their people.

UVa Health System’s Dr. Steven L. Zeichner invented the method for creating the vaccines. The researchers actually are testing two vaccines on pigs, one for a porcine coronavirus and one for COVID-19. Both were effective against serious illness.

Because the vaccines target a spike protein that is nearly universal among coronaviruses, they could have widespread applications — potentially addressing everything from the common cold to COVID-19 mutations that have yet to emerge.

And because the vaccines are relatively easy to manufacture, they could be made at existing plants around the world — “which should be particularly helpful for pandemic response,” Zeichner said.

The vaccines still have far to go — including undergoing human trials — before they can be approved, manufactured and deployed.

But this is an exciting and encouraging start.

Thanks to the two researchers and their teams.

And thanks to the two universities for their collaboration.

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