Report: British Scientists Developing Universal COVID Vaccine

There are 108.5 million global COVID-19 infections, Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center reported early Sunday. The U.S. has the most cases at 27.5 million, followed by India with 10.9 million and Brazil with 9.8 million.The Telegraph newspaper reports British scientists are developing a universal vaccine that would combat all the variants of the coronavirus and could be available within a year.The British newspaper says scientists at the University of Nottingham are working on a vaccine that would target the core of virus instead of the spike protein that current vaccines focus on.Targeting the core alleviates the need to frequently adjust existing vaccines as the virus mutates.The Telegraph said proteins found in the core of the virus are far less likely to mutate, meaning the vaccine would protect against all current variants and would theoretically have greater longevity.A 58-year-old man in France is reported to be the first person infected for a second time with the highly contagious South African variant of the coronavirus.The man’s reinfection is “rare albeit probably underestimated,” according to the authors of an article in the Clinical Infectious Diseases journal.New Zealand’s largest city in going into a three-day lockdown, the country’s first in six months. The shuttering of Auckland comes after the discovery of three family members – a father, mother and daughter – with COVID.The rest of the country will be on heightened restrictions.New Zealand is known for having have stamped out the local transmission of the coronavirus, but it regularly detects the virus in travelers to New Zealand who are then placed in quarantine.The mother in the New Zealand family with COVID works at a catering company that does laundry for airlines. Authorities are investigating whether there is a link to an infected passenger.Not all U.S. states are happy about President Joe Biden’s plan to establish 100 COVID vaccine inoculation sites around the country by the end of the month, according to an Associated Press report.The wire service reports that some states have learned that the sites do not come with additional vaccines but would pull vaccines from the state’s existing allocation.A spokesperson for Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee said, “Up until now, we’ve been under the impression that these sites do not come with their own supply of vaccine — which is the principal thing we need more of, rather than more ways to distribute what we already have.”Adding to the confusion, AP reported that some states have been told by federal officials that the new sites would come with their own supply of vaccines.

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