How could scientists race out COVID-19 vaccines so fast without cutting corners? A head start helped — over a decade of behind-the-scenes research that had new vaccine technology poised for a challenge just as the coronavirus erupted.
“The speed is a reflection of years of work that went before,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top U.S. infectious disease expert, told The Associated Press. “That’s what the public has to understand.”
Creating vaccines and having results from rigorous studies less than a year after the world discovered a never-before-seen disease is incredible, cutting years off normal development. But the two U.S. frontrunners are made in a way that promises speedier development may become the norm — especially if they prove to work long-term as well as early testing suggests.
“Abject giddiness,” is how Dr. C. Buddy Creech, a Vanderbilt University vaccine expert, described scientists’ reactions when separate studies showed the two candidates