The Vaccine Blog

A Whistle-Stop Tour of Why COVID 19 Vaccines were Developed So Quickly

How were COVID-19 vaccines developed so quickly?

    This has been a significant issue for many; so let`s clarify

    It is true that vaccines typically take at least a decade to develop, test, and manufacture

   However, this timeframe was reduced in several ways for COVID 19 vaccines;

1.  Only the genetic material of the virus was included. The advantage of this is that “traditional vaccines typically use a weakened version of the pathogen or a protein piece of it, but because these are grown in eggs or cells, developing and manufacturing vaccines takes a long time”

2. The manufacturing was also conducted “at risk”; meaning that stage II of trials were started just before stage I was completed, stage III was begun before stage II was completed and so on. If the vaccine was found to be unsafe or ineffective, the manufactured doses would be thrown away and not distributed

3. Also, there have been over 700m COVID cases as of today. There were exponentially increasing infection rates, and plenty of trial volunteers..

4. Finally ,we already knew about coronaviruses like SARS and MERS

5.  mRNA technology has been being researched for decades. It isn`t completely novel. Plus, it had been known for several years that the spike protein was the component of the virus that allows it to enter human cells


This is how the COVID 19 vaccines were developed so quickly without bypassing safety steps


Further, according to Dr. Gregory Zimet, Research Consultant and Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics and Psychiatry at Indiana University School of Medicine,  "Given the high incidence rate of COVID-19 symptomatic infections during the trials, it didn't take long to accrue enough disease outcomes to determine if the vaccine worked. In contrast, two of the reasons that the HPV vaccine trials took so long is that there is a lower incidence of infection (compared to COVID-19 during the worst of the pandemic) and there is a lengthy period of time between HPV infection and the disease outcomes of interest (e.g., high grade squamous intraepithelial lesions or pre-cancers)"