It's not typical these days to hear the phrase "great news" associated with the coronavirus, but those are the words used by a molecular geneticist at Johns Hopkins in an interview with the Washington Post. The reason? COVID-19 hasn't mutated much since spreading from China, and that could be a big help with an eventual vaccine. Coverage:
- The hope: Scientists have found only four to 10 genetic differences in strains so far, which is "a relatively small number," Johns Hopkins' Peter Thielen tells the Post. It means that an eventual vaccine could be of the one-size-fits-all variety—as with the measles or chickenpox, a person could get one shot and receive protection for a long period. “I would expect a vaccine for coronavirus would have a similar profile to those vaccines," says Thielen. "It’s great news." That's a key difference with, say, the ordinary flu, which mutates so rapidly that a different vaccine is needed each year.