/ Why does vaccine development take so long?
Anybody know? KathrynC is an expert on this sort of thing I think.
It’s not a criticism of those involved in that sort of work by the way - just interested.
Apart from anything else, getting the vaccine through trials and safety procedures is a lengthy process... trials on mice, larger animals, and eventually human trials to look for side effects etc. some of this requires time to elapse and isn't just about throwing resources at it. E.g. wait x months to see if any long term damage has been done.
There are several steps that I can see needing to happen. Some of these can be concurrent.
1. Understand the immunity involved (is it protective, partially protective or in some instances harmful)
2. Understand the evolution of the virus - is it going to change (antigenic drift / shift) making vaccines difficult to make or needing to be revised perhaps every year
3. Identify antigens that you can put in a bottle that give you protective immunity without giving you the disease
4. Ensure that the vaccine is safe (i.e. doesn't cause immediate signs or when you encounter this or another coronavirus)
5. Ensure that the vaccine works
I found this a useful explanation:
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