How were the COVID-19 vaccine developed so quickly compared to other vaccines?
The development of the COIVD-19 vaccines was achieved on an accelerated timeline as compared to many other vaccines that we currently use. There are a couple of factors that influenced this rapid development.
The mRNA vaccine platform is new to the general public. However, the scientific community has been working with this platform for some time as a reliable way to bring new vaccines into general use. Scientific researchers have been investigating the use of this technology to develop vaccines for infections such as rabies, influenza, and Zika prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. This strong foundation for the use of mRNA technology was already in place when the COIVID-19 pandemic began and provided the stepping stones for rapid vaccine development.
With the onset of the pandemic and the changes that this brought to our daily lives and interactions, world leaders quickly realized how important a vaccine would be to help bring this pandemic under control. Many governments and philanthropic organizations contributed funding to accelerate this scientific research, allowing top scientists to focus on just this one problem. The singularly focused global effort has resulted in three vaccines, which are currently being used in the United States. Now that COVID-19 vaccines have been demonstrated to be safe and are widely available we can each do our part to protect ourselves and end this pandemic by getting vaccinated.
Sarah Banks, MD
MidState Medical Center
Division of Infectious Disease