As far as effective healthcare interventions go, vaccines are among the most essential tools at our disposal for combating disease. As the fast-moving COVID-19 pandemic continues to sweep the globe, the demand for an effective vaccine against the virus that causes it (SARS-CoV-2) has been swift and urgent, and has become a public health priority.

This demand has fostered unprecedented innovation, collaboration, and regulatory flexibility among the medical community. Many stakeholders have mobilized quickly, launching initiatives to discover and validate promising vaccine candidates, and to build the commercial-scale infrastructure that will be needed to meet immense global demand — levels that have never before been seen for a single vaccine product.

Traditional vaccine development efforts are both complex and lengthy — typically measured in terms of years, not months. The standard process involves testing the safety and efficacy of a promising vaccine candidate, first using suitable animal testing and computer models, and then carrying out human clinical trials in formal, sequential phases. Such studies also aim to determine whether single or multiple doses will be required, and what duration of immunity the vaccine will provide. 

Today, a growing list of pharmaceutical and life sciences companies are working in partnership with government entities, such as the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), and non-governmental agencies, such as the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation (CEPI).

These efforts exploring COVID-19 vaccine options are based on a mix of proven and promising technology platforms.The use of existing technology platforms could help to shorten review and manufacturing timelines. By contrast, the newer technology platforms promise (at least theoretically) several critical advantages, but could take longer, as they have no proven track record for regulatory approval or commercial-scale manufacturing. 

This blog is intended to be informational in nature. The information and other content provided in this blog, or in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment.

If you have any questions or concerns, please talk to your doctor. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this blog or in any linked materials. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or emergency services immediately.

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