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COVID vaccine development process – how it compares to “normal”

The development process for COVID-19 vaccines was accelerated yet robust and thorough, maintaining rigorous safety and effectiveness standards. Efforts to speed up the process included enrolling over 100,000 patients worldwide, fast-tracking data analysis and regulatory reviews, and preparing manufacturing facilities. Despite the rapid pace, multiple independent agencies and expert groups ensured vaccine safety and effectiveness, making it nearly impossible for a harmful vaccine to reach the market. This process, vital in saving lives amidst the pandemic, still follow established protocols used in pre-pandemic vaccine development.

vaccine development process

Vaccine development process – how it’s usually done

Back before the world of the COVID-19 pandemic, the vaccine development process took a long time. Despite the nonsensical claims of the anti-vaccine zealots, the vaccine development process is robust and thorough. The safety and effectiveness of all of the pre-pandemic vaccines are settled science (read the article before you jump up and down screaming about “settled science”).  

However, the world of the COVID-19 pandemic meant that if we can save a few months or even years off the development timeline on a new COVID-19 vaccine, it could save hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, of lives.

Of course, much of the optimism comes from experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of the few rational public health experts who are willing to speak up in Washington DC. Maybe he has seen some secret data only available only to him and Bill Gates that supports this optimism. Maybe he just is trying to be the national cheerleader for healthcare.

I don’t know the real answer, but a lot of vaccine experts who have spent their lifetime studying vaccines, like Dr. Peter Hotez, MD Ph.D., have expressed dismay at how politics may “trump” good science.

So, this article will try to lay out the development process, along with the independent controls that make sure that all vaccines are safe and effective.

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