COVID-19 is new and Medical Science hasn´t been able to determine much about the nature of the virus and how it spreads. A vaccine could take billions of dollars and several months to be available, developing one is a complex process. that takes time
More than 30 pharmaceutical, scientific companies and academic institutions are working as fast as they can, trying to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, with at least four candidates in the animal-testing phase and one will enter human trials soon. But this is only a phase there´s still a long path to go.
As Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in the US, said: “A vaccine that you make and start testing in a year is not a vaccine that’s deployable. [It will take] a year to a year and a half, no matter how fast you go.”
Vaccines must be rigorously tested to ensure they not only work but will not cause other dangerous side-effects. Once a candidate vaccine passes through those hoops, the challenge is to produce it in the volume necessary to end a pandemic. A number of organizations are helping to fund the process. Among them is Norway-based CEPI, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations.
It was first launched at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos in 2017, with the intention of bringing together public, private, philanthropic and civil organizations to develop vaccines against epidemics. Backed by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, among other donors, in 2020 CEPI announced a new partnership to develop a vaccine for COVID-19.
It has issued an urgent call for $2 billion of new funding, to expand the number of vaccine candidates at the outset to increase the chances of success, and to fund the clinical trials.
“Our ambition is to have at least three vaccine candidates, which could be submitted to regulatory authorities for licensure for general use/use in outbreaks.”
CEPI has already provided funding to several organizations and institutions working on vaccines, including: It remains to be seen how long it will take until there is a workable vaccine against COVID-19. For the time being, the best way to ensure you reduce your risk of infection is to follow the World Health Organization’s advice on handwashing and social distancing.