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How did the COVID-19 vaccine get deployed so quickly?

Many people are worried that the vaccines now being used to inoculate people against COVID-19 Coronavirus are not safe. They ask, 'how could a process that usually takes 10 years be now completed in less than a year?'

Were there some safety compromises made in bringing the vaccine to market so rapidly?

Not at all. It is the result of great leadership, financial management, technology and coordination between everyone concerned and good old opportunism.


Developing a vaccine is a financially risky business. This is because 85% of vaccines after development fail to achieve their intended results and have to be discarded. To design a vaccine huge amounts have to be invested.

Typically, a vaccine takes 10 years to bring to market. The first seven years are spent in raising money. People may love or hate President Trump but under his leadership [Operation warp speed]( he got American and world governments, business and political leaders to commit funds and a 7 year process was shortened to a mere couple of weeks.

The new vaccines developed are "Messenger RNA" (mRNA) vaccines. Messenger RNA vaccines are new and revolutionary compared to traditional methods of developing a vaccine.

Decoding the gene of a virus typically takes a minimum of two years. But with what we know of the genome project which was completed 30 years ago scientists were able to accurately decode the virus gene within 3 weeks. Gene therapy has been around for a long while but this is the first time it has been used for so vast and comprehensive a project.

A new vaccine usually requires 12 months for testing, validation and getting approvals from government authorities. Due to intense focus and coordination between research organisations, vaccine producers, equipment and test kit manufacturers, medical professionals and governments the process was compressed to 10 months.

That is how a 10 year process has successfully been compressed to less than a year.

The earlier the population get the vaccines the quicker the economies will bounce back. Estimates indicate that America will complete universal vaccination of its 330 million population by 30 April 2021 and India will get her 1360 million population inoculated by December 2021.



Now that we have understood that COVID-19 coronavirus is nothing more than a flu, albeit a nasty one, it is being safely and promptly treated and the current fatality rate is less than 1%.

Though I have taken the vaccine, I would remain cautious because the efficacy of the vaccine is not 100%. So it is important to keep maintaining good safety practice without becoming paranoid about COVID-19.


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