A poster shows details of the “From SARS to COVID-19: Science, Medicine and Human Solutions” organized by the STUF United Fund. Photo from the STUF United Fund’s Facebook page
Source: Taipei Times by William Hetherington / Staff writer
Low-sugar vaccination — a recent development in next-generation vaccines — would be safer and more effective than current vaccines, former Academia Sinica president Wong Chi-huey （翁啟惠） said in an interview.
Wong made the statement in a news release ahead of a parallel event to be held by nonprofit charity the STUF United Fund at the 76th World Health Assembly meetings in Geneva, Switzerland, tomorrow.
Wong’s “pioneering work in glycoscience — the study of complex sugars and their role in physiology and disease biology, have already gained international recognition,” STUF chief supervisor Danny Chen （陳啟耕） said.
Driven by the need to constantly update COVID-19 vaccines as new variants of SARS-CoV-2 emerge, Wong said his work is focused on creating a “universal vaccine,” and he believes new research on carbohydrates and glycoproteins would benefit that work.
Wong’s lab is dedicated to the development of tools that explain the role that glycosylation plays in the human body, Chen said, adding that Wong’s research has shown how complex sugars affect everything from cancer progression to neurodegenerative disorders.
In the press release, STUF cited research from Wong’s lab that found that SARS-CoV-2 depends on a host-made sugar coat on the spike protein to facilitate infection and evade host immune response.
That process could be manipulated by a vaccine, which would work on all variants of the virus, it said.
Separately, the press release said that Taiwan’s containment of COVID-19 throughout the pandemic could “serve as a gold standard in using science and collective action to reduce needless death and suffering” during a pandemic.
It cited Premier Chen Chien-jen （陳建仁）, who will also attend the event, as saying that Taiwan’s successful handling of the pandemic was due to transparent and open policies that built public trust in the Central Epidemic Command Center.
“A nation is only capable of controlling a pandemic when all members of its society are wholly engaged in its containment, through full compliance with the guidance and regulations,” the premier was cited as saying.
Registered in Flushing, New York, the STUF United Fund is focused on humanitarian aid, disaster relief, culture and education, public health and environmental protection.