How it’s made
Typically, companies will work independently to complete clinical development plans for a vaccine. Once a vaccine is authorized, manufacturing begins to scale up. The antigen (part of the germ that our immune system reacts to) is weakened or deactivated. To form the full vaccine, all ingredients are combined. The whole process, from preclinical trial to manufacture, can sometimes take over a decade to complete. In search for a COVID-19 vaccine, researchers and developers are working on several different phases in parallel, to speed up results. It is the scale of the financial and political commitments to development of a vaccine that has allowed this accelerated development to take place. Also nations and international health organizations are working together through COVAX to invest in development capacity upfront to streamline the process, as well as to ensure equitable distribution of vaccines.