Many of us are wonder how the vaccines were made so quickly and are still safe.
Many vaccines take a long time to make. What was different this time around? Let's find out how the vaccines were made quickly and safely.
How do we know they are safe and effective? Take a look at what the data was from the unusually large clinical trials.
Scientists have been studying coronaviruses for more than 50 years. Even the common cold is a coronavirus!
That means, no company working on a vaccine had to start from scratch. They knew enough about th coronavirus family of viruses to give them a head start making a vaccine.
COVID-19 isn't just another coronavirus.
It is also very similar to SARS which several scientists have been working on vaccines for since 2002.
Scientists in China mapped out the genetic code of the COVID-19 virus. In early January 2020, they shared it worldwide pleading for help to find a cure.
By February 2020, Moderna had a vaccine design and submitted it to the FDA for approval to begin testing.
When the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic, governments and private citizens around the world poured money into finding a vaccine.
This is unusual because:
- Generally only one or two companies at a time work on drugs for a single virus or disease.
- Money is generally hard to raise to develop a new vaccine or drug.
Because the virus is so contagious and deadly, scientists and countries have shared more information than ever before in an effort to save human life. No singlecompany was working alone to find a treatment or vaccine.
Usually 1 or 2 companies work on vaccines for a virus at any given time.
But for COVID-19, by June 2020, 23 vaccines were being tested in humans (clinical testing) and 140 were in pre-clinical testing and development.
As the pandemic got worse and more and more people died, hundreds of thousands of people around the world volunteered for the human clinical trials.
Each vaccine being researched has tens to hundreds of vaccine testing centers around the world.
This means more information and results can be collected and compared to make sure the vaccines work and are safe.
New drugs and vaccines, under normal circumstances, have a long wait to be reviewed by the FDA.
Because COVID-19 is a global pandemic and has been so deadly, the FDA has pulled more staff to focus on the development of medications and vaccines for this virus. And, the FDA has overseen every vaccine from the start, adding another layer of safety checks to an intense process.