A team of Chinese scientists claims to have developed a single vaccine that can provide dual protection against coronavirus and influenza, and has been tested successfully on mice.
Researchers from Shanghai-based Fudan University presented the new vaccine in a study published recently in the Journal of Virology, saying they designed an immunogen by fusing the SARS-CoV-2 receptor-binding domain to the conserved stalk of H7N9 hemagglutinin and expressed it using a chimpanzee adenovirus vector.
When tested on mice, the constructed vaccine, named AdC68-CoV/Flu, effectively induced both SARS-CoV-2-targeting antibodies and anti-influenza antibodies, providing protection from SARS-CoV-2 (including its emerging variants) and H7N9 infection, according to the study.
H7N9 is a bird flu strain first reported to have infected humans in China in March 2013, and it is most likely to cause an epidemic in winter and spring.
The results suggest the novel vaccine as a promising approach to curbing respiratory virus-causing pandemics, said the study.