What Will The Next Generation Of COVID-19 Vaccines Look Like? – Science Friday

coronavirus vaccine. sars-cov-2 COVID-19. Some ampoules with ncov-2019 vaccine in a box. to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
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The first COVID-19 vaccine was approved just over two years ago. Since then, the virus continues to mutate. With each new variant, the virus seems to evade our current vaccines more effectively, faster than we can make effective new mRNA boosters. 

Coronaviruses frequently spill over from animals to humans, like the original SARS and MERS viruses, which are both types of coronaviruses. Researchers are working on the next generation of coronavirus vaccines that aim to protect us against multiple emerging variants—and even prevent future pandemics. 

Ira talks with Dr. Pamela Bjorkman, professor of biology and bioengineering at the California Institute of Technology, about her work to develop a vaccine that would protect against several types of coronaviruses. 

And later, Ira talks with Dr. Akiko Iwasaki, professor of immunobiology and molecular, cellular, and developmental biology at Yale University, about the nasal vaccine she’s researching and the hurdles in bringing it to market.

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Segment Guests

Pamela Bjorkman

Pamela Bjorkman is a professor of Biology and Bioengineering at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California.

Akiko Iwasaki

Akiko Iwasaki is a professor of Immunobiology at the Yale Medical School in New Haven, Connecticut.

Meet the Producers and Host

Shoshannah Buxbaum

About Shoshannah Buxbaum

Shoshannah Buxbaum is a producer for Science Friday. She’s particularly drawn to stories about health, psychology, and the environment. She’s a proud New Jersey native and will happily share her opinions on why the state is deserving of a little more love.

Ira Flatow

About Ira Flatow

Ira Flatow is the host and executive producer of Science FridayHis green thumb has revived many an office plant at death’s door.