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A vaccine could dramatically slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), and researchers are collaborating like never before to develop one in record time. Without a vaccine, distributed equitably all over the world, we could face recurring waves of the epidemic.
When will a vaccine be ready?
There is currently no vaccine for COVID-19. However, while vaccines typically take up to a decade to develop and license, it may be possible to deliver a coronavirus vaccine in as little as a year. This is because research is happening at incredible speed with researchers, developers and funders collaborating to streamline the process.
There are more than 100 possible COVID-19 vaccine candidates in development. And some of the cutting-edge methods used during this outbreak could revolutionise vaccine development in future.
A COVID-19 vaccine would be an incredibly powerful tool to slow down the coronavirus pandemic. How do we develop one in record time?
Researchers may well identify a safe, effective vaccine for COVID-19 before too long, but all that fantastic work could count for nothing unless we also invest in the next stages of the vaccine process – manufacturing and delivery.
How we're supporting research
We’re supporting global vaccine research and development efforts through CEPI, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations.
CEPI is currently funding the development of nine COVID-19 vaccines. Several are already in phase 1 clinical trials – beginning just two months after the coronavirus was genetically sequenced.
Vaccines for everyone
Greater investment is still needed to support the COVID-19 vaccine process, from research and development to manufacturing and delivery – to make sure that if an effective vaccine is discovered, there is enough available for everyone who needs it.
There will be huge demand from countries around the world, and any new COVID-19 vaccines must first be made available to those who need them most, not just those who can afford to buy them.
Organisations like Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, UNICEF and the World Health Organization will play a vital role in ensuring access to a COVID-19 vaccine alongside the life-saving vaccines we already have.
While we wait for a COVID-19 vaccine, let's not forget the importance of the vaccines we already have
With measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 disrupting immunisation around the globe, millions are now at risk of other deadly diseases. We must act and invest urgently to maintain routine immunisation.
A vaccine for COVID-19 which uses cutting-edge RNA technology has entered phase 1 clinical trials. If successful, it could revolutionise the future of vaccine development.