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The World Health Organization’s “Blueprint” vaccine research and development team to meet


The World Health Organization’s “Blueprint” vaccine research and development team to meet

Texas Monthly Getty
Illustration: Texas Monthly/Getty

The World Health Organization’s (WHO) research and development arm, Blueprint, will hold a consultation today to discuss cutting edge and best vaccine research methods.

The Blueprint team is meant to improve coordinated responses to pandemics, speed up vaccine R&D and develop new practices to prevent future outbreaks. Today’s consultations will study data on the efficacy of current vaccine data on different COVID variants, protection duration, booster shot safety and delivery strategies to fill in data gaps.

Today’s meeting comes as the Delta variant and lagging global vaccination efforts have caused a massive surge in COVID-19 cases. Global vaccinations rates remain low in poorer countries, creating stronger coronavirus variants. Threatened by the more contagious and deadly variants, robust data on vaccine effectiveness and duration of protection is urgently needed to create proper public health guidelines, like when to get booster shots.

Today’s panel is the first step in developing better preventative measures to halt the virus’ spread. Short-term, it will likely have little effect in lowering global case counts as it only studies the usefulness of current data sets. However, medium- to long-term, the meeting will likely play a vital role in increasing vaccine effectiveness against future variants and stemming further surges.

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