Vaccine Development


As a response to the current Coronavirus pandemic, three large companies have been working to create an effective vaccine to facilitate a return to “normalcy”. The three largest companies that have already been working on a vaccine are Pfizer Inc., Johnson & Johnson, and Moderna Inc. Many vaccine options have been in the works for several months, and are already in the third testing phase. The third phase of testing is to ensure the effectiveness and safety of a vaccine prior to being released to the public.

“The launch of this Phase 3 trial in record time while maintaining the most stringent safety measures demonstrates American ingenuity at its best and what can be done when stakeholders come together with unassailable objectivity toward a common goal,” said NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D. and P.h.D.

Dr. Antony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, is hopeful that a quality vaccine will come to fruition either by the end of 2020 or the beginning of 2021. This is due to the fact that the results seen so far in the research conducted on vaccine candidates have been so promising. It is rare that a vaccine would be approved so quickly, however the manufacturers are expediting the process, while maintaining appropriate safety standards.

Once a vaccine has been approved, it will be able to move into the manufacturing phase immediately. This is because the federal government has promised to subsidize funding to ensure that it will be available to the population as quickly as possible.

The three manufacturing companies have come together to create a pledge to the public that any vaccine that will be publicly distributed will be guaranteed to be effective and safe. This is a rare pledge, as these three companies are rivals; however they agree that public confidence in a new vaccine is of the utmost importance to ensure that many will eventually be vaccinated. In addition, these companies also pledged to remain ethical by not taking shortcuts during the entire trial process.

“We believe this pledge will help ensure public confidence in the Covid-19 vaccines that may ultimately be approved and adherence to the rigorous scientific and regulatory process by which they are evaluated,” as written in the draft statement.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has requested that each state prepare for a vaccine arrival. They requested that by October each state has a plan for distribution and by November 1 has ready vaccination sites. This is because a vaccine could be coming sooner than many might think. Many experts are optimistic that a vaccine will be ready for use by the end of 2020 or start of 2021, which would significantly lower the number of cases in the United States.

Mrs. Wendy Harrigan, a science teacher at Pine Crest School, stated “Vaccine development typically takes years so that they can be proven safe as well as effective. The hope is that fast-tracking vaccines does not compromise either of these goals.”

The goal of rapid development is for the creation of an effective and safe vaccine that can assist in the transition to life as normal. However, the question that stands is when, in the future, the vaccine can and will be distributed for public use.