The existing vaccines could be retooled to be variant-specific or to target more than one variant at the same time, but the holy grail would be a long-lasting vaccine with broad enough protection that it’s essentially variant-proof.
However, although there’s some promising science in this area, a “pancoronavirus” vaccine doesn’t yet exist.
Some experts say we also need new vaccines that are delivered differently, such as orally or via absorption through the skin, and that don’t require cold-chain storage. These could help immensely with global vaccination.
“If you took five of these new approaches, five or six, I would plan on maybe a $5–10 billion effort to accelerate, develop, scale and evaluate those to seriously broaden our arsenal against this virus,” Bright said.