Vaccines take time to develop for many reasons. No single institution has the capacity or facilities to develop a vaccine by itself. Vaccines take two to five years to develop. With a global effort the vaccine can potentially be developed in shorter time possibly 18 months.
Social distancing and sheltering-in-place measures are the most effective ways to prevent the spread of this novel respiratory virus but there are people hard at work to develop a vaccine. However, it’s not going to be available immediately and here’s why.
Quick breakdown of developing steps:
1- Understand the virus’s characteristics and behavior in the host (human)
2-To do this, an animal model must be developed first
3-The potential vaccine needs to be able to demonstrate that it is safe and can trigger the right parts of the body’s immunity without damage
4-Then begins the pre-clinical animal testing of potential vaccine using the animal model
5-Vaccines that successfully pass pre-clinical testing can then be used by other institutions with the capacity to run human trials.
6-Ideally testing would take place in the setting of the current outbreak.
7-Finally, if the vaccine is found safe and effective it will need to pass necessary regulatory approvals.
8- After approval, a cost-effective way to produce the vaccine needs to be in place before the final vaccine is completed and ready for delivery.
Each step in the vaccine development faces potential changes and this can alter delivery time. This is why it takes so long to develop a vaccine.
Stay safe, healthy, happy and positive!