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CSU researches coronavirus vaccine for new variants and future pandemics

With several different vaccine candidates being researched right now, CSU works to create a pan-coronavirus vaccine to fight against other strains of the virus.

FORT COLLINS, Colo. — Researchers at Colorado State University are busy researching vaccine candidates for the current pandemic while working on ways to combat potential pandemics in the future. 

With new variants of the virus emerging, like the California COVID strain, researchers are focused on creating a pan-coronavirus vaccine that could fight off future viruses.  

Right now, CSU has one vaccine that's been funded for human clinical trials called SolaVAX. A few others are right behind from being developed and will go through animal trials. According to a press release from CSU, researchers are also pursuing a vaccine that uses a genetically modified form of the probiotic Lactobacillus acidophilus, a bacterium commonly found in yogurt and other foods for gut health. 

Alan Rudolph, the vice president of research at CSU said that the potential for more threats like COVID to jump from animals and spread in our society is a threat that we have to continue to research.  

>>Watch video above: Students at 2 CSU dorms told to quarantine due to high level of COVID-19 in wastewater.

"We're making immunogens, or vaccines, that will allow for better protection against a broader class of coronaviruses or different strains of similar coronaviruses like the experience with COVID," Rudolph said. 

The fact that several different vaccines for COVID-19 have already been made available to the public by other manufacturers helps researchers at CSU. Now that there isn’t a race to be the first to create an effective vaccine for COVID, researches at CSU are able to look ahead and work on protecting people from coronaviruses in the future. 

RELATED: Vaccine guide: What to know about getting the COVID-19 vaccine in Colorado, and what happens next

“Because it's not in the first wave of vaccines, we are looking at the ability for it to adapt to these other strains and to use the platform to make more agile manufacturing so that we can use this process and its rapid manufacturing for the next pandemic or for a strain of COVID in the next season,” Rudolph said.

RELATED: FDA staff releases review of Johnson & Johnson single-dose COVID vaccine

CSU is also able to test for new COVID variants on their campus through wastewater testing.