The development of COVID-19 vaccines that provide protection against the SARS-CoV-2 virus happened in record time. However, the immunity that they create is limited in duration. In the first year, most recipients have received two shots, and a booster. According to a recent Interesting Engineering article, researchers at the Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Medical Science are developing a vaccine that will provide lifelong immunity against the virus.
The vaccine is taking cues from history’s most successful vaccine, the one for smallpox. They’ve used a strain of the vaccinia virus that doesn’t cause the vaccine, but replaces some of the protein components with ones from the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2. The team is confident their vaccine will deliver neutralizing antibodies with a single dose, and provide cellular immunity for long term protection from the virus.