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Pentagon developing microchip vaccine that will continuously detect virus in body

"It's like a check-engine light," Retired Colonel Matt Hepburn, leader of the project told "60 Minutes" in an interview.

Updated: April 13, 2021 - 1:32pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

The Pentagon is attempting to develop a coronavirus vaccine that would protect recipients from all variants and add implantable microchip technology that can detect the virus in the body. 

Retired Col. Matt Hepburn, an Army infectious disease physician leading the Pentagon's 's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's pandemic response, introduced the technology and hopes it also will combat future pandemics.

During a CBS "60 Minutes" interview on Sunday, Hepburn showed a green tissue-like gel that could be added to future vaccines as the technological aspect for detecting the virus before people become sick.

“You put it underneath your skin and what that tells you is that there are chemical reactions going on inside the body, and that signal means you are going to have symptoms tomorrow," he said. "It’s like a 'check engine' light."

Then, individuals could draw their own blood and test themselves, ultimately receiving results within three to five minutes.

The goal would be to essentially wipe out the virus by stopping the infection in its tracks each time.

DARPA has also developed a filter that can remove the virus from the patient's blood using a dialysis machine, Hepburn said. It has already been approved by the FDA and has been used on over 300 patients. 

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