Platform vaccines for the coronavirus will take longer than the president thinks. But if we invest now, they could prevent pandemics in the future.
In April 2009, a new type of influenza began spreading through the American West: H1N1, or swine flu. Vaccine developers had been preparing for a moment like this after several deadly flu pandemics in the twentieth century. They began cultivating the virus for a new flu vaccine, and the vaccine was ready just a few months later, in October. It still wasn’t fast enough to prevent a pandemic. Kids, who are among the most vulnerable to the flu, went back to school in September, and the swine flu spread around the world.
But what if vaccine developers didn’t have to wait months to cultivate a virus in eggs and then inactivate it for a vaccine, as they did with swine flu? What if they already had an all-purpose base for a vaccine built, and then they simply tweaked it whenever they learn about a new virus? Read more at The New Republic.
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