Dr Ronan Glynn explains the speed of Covid vaccine development.
‘…..Ireland is on the cusp of deploying at least two COVID-19 vaccines as part of a national vaccination programme.
Many are now asking, how has it all happened so quickly? After all, we know that, normally, it takes about 10 years to develop a new vaccine, to make sure it is safe and effective, and to make enough of it for everyone who needs it.
There are several reasons why this timeline has been really cut down for COVID-19 vaccine candidates.
1. There have been enormous levels of investment and scientific and medical research, on a scale never previously seen in vaccine development.
2. Because of the high number of new cases of COVID-19 across the world, the vaccine trials were able to quickly measure differences in disease risk between those who received the vaccine and those who got the placebo or dummy vaccine.
3. Many of the processes which normally take place one after the other in vaccine development have instead been running in parallel. For example, large scale manufacturing of vaccines started even before the results of phase 3 trials were available. Similarly, regulators and those developing the vaccines started their conversations very early in the process so that the regulators were aware of developments and so that the process of authorisation can now be as swift as possible….’