Pfizer and Moderna's Covid-19 vaccines point the way to conquering the next coronavirus pandemic and may already offer some basic protection against killers such as MERS or other as yet undiscovered threats, according to new US research. In experiments described by leading scientists as "exciting", researchers at Duke University tested mRNA vaccines that were very similar to the approved jabs on monkeys. They found that the vaccines induced antibodies that not only protected against Sars-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, but could also guard against other viruses from the same family. "These results demonstrate current mRNA vaccines may provide some protection from future zoonotic betacoronavirus [coronaviruses crossing from animal to human] outbreaks, and provide a platform for further development of pan-betacoronavirus vaccines," the paper, published this week in Nature, concludes. Sars-Cov-2 is already the third threatening coronavirus to arise this century, after the viruses causing MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome) and SARS (Severe acute respiratory syndrome), and experts agree that another could easily take hold.