Explainer: How Covid19 Vaccines Were Developed Within a Year, Advanced by Years of Research

Explainer: How Covid19 Vaccines Were Developed Within a Year, Advanced by Years of Research

  • There are a number of reasons people are wary about getting the coronavirus vaccine administered and one of them is how fast it was developed
  • While it may seem as though not enough research has gone into the coronavirus vaccine, scientists have been studying coronaviruses for years
  • The coronavirus pandemic meant that governments from around the world came together to fund pharmaceutical companies to help develop vaccines faster

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One of the major points of scepticism raised about the coronavirus vaccine comes mainly from how quickly it was developed in comparison to other vaccines in the past.

This has led some people to think that the speed at which the vaccine has been developed means that the science behind the vaccine may not be as reliable.

Explainer: How Covid19 Vaccines Were Developed Within a Year, Advanced by Years of Research
With the help lumps of funding given to scientists who have been researching the coronavirus for over a decade, the Covid-19 vaccine was developed within a year. Image: Brenton Geach
Source: Getty Images

In previous cases, vaccination approval took up to 15 years and this included the completion of clinical trials, however, the coronavirus vaccine was approved within a year, according to Biospace. With the exception of the Covid-19 vaccine, the mumps vaccine was previously the fastest vaccine to be developed and was created within four years.

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Funding helped speed up the process of coronavirus vaccine

Despite the coronavirus heavily impacting the lives of the global population being one of the major reasons for the drive that led to a vaccine being developed so quickly, funding from governments and corporations made the coronavirus vaccine possible.

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According to Shabir Madhi, a professor of Vaccinology at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), vaccine clinical trials take as long as they do because they require large amounts of funding to actually happen and in most cases, it takes years for scientists to raise those funds.

Madhi says, in South Africa for example, the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine efficiency trial cost between R535 million and R609 million for 5 000 participants, reports News24. Other phases of the clinical trials require more funding because they need more participants in the trials.

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Large scale clinical trials cost a lot more and had governments not pulled together and fund pharmaceutical companies to fund clinical trials the vaccine might have taken longer to develop.

Madhi also explains that vaccines trials do not usually happen in parallel to one other as in the case of the Covid-19 vaccine because of the lack of funding.

Advancement in technology and years of research helped develop a vaccine quickly

When it comes to the creation of the coronavirus vaccine, Madhi explains that the technology to create it was already available because of years of research and study that had gone into coronaviruses.

That means the preclinical phase of vaccine development that usually takes numerous years was bypassed and scientists did not need to first develop technology to create the vaccine before they could actually develop it.

Madhi says the messenger RNA (mRNA) technology which is adaptable has been available for more than 10 years and has been used in research for other diseases such as cancer.

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Research into the MERS and SARS-CoV coronavirus that happened about 10 years made it easier for scientists to develop the Covid-19 vaccine. While the past coronaviruses did not heavily impact the world as Covid-19 did, scientists continued to study and looked into the creation of vaccines against coronaviruses.

18 to 34-year-olds rush to register for the coronavirus vaccine, 184 000 people registered

Briefly News previously reported that young people aged between 18 and 34 have rushed to register for the coronavirus vaccine since the announcement that registration is now open to all in South Africa on Thursday 19 August.

According to EWN, 184 000 people in this age group registered to get the jab since the Department of Health's Electronic Vaccine Data System opened for them at midnight 20 August.

Gauteng, the Western Cape and the KwaZulu-Natal are the provinces that saw high numbers of registrations since the early hours of the morning. Gauteng took the lead with 73 000 registrations while the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal followed with 53 000 and 20 000 respectively.

Source: Briefly.co.za

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