Experts from across The Conversation look at how COVID-19 vaccines will work, how they're being tested and manufactured, and what challenges there will be to rolling them out.
Both Moderna and AstraZeneca have used cutting-edge designs to reduce their vaccines' development time.
A lab technician holds a vial of a COVID-19 vaccine candidate during testing at the Chula Vaccine Research Center, run by Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand on May 25, 2020.
(AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)
Will a vaccine for COVID-19 be safe? Animal testing, human clinical trials and post-approval surveillance give us good grounds to believe that a future approved vaccine will work and be safe.
The vaccine hasn't completed phase 3 trials, so we can't be sure it will be safe and effective for all. The Australian government's deal is contingent on these trials being successful.
A two-dose coronavirus vaccine would mean we need to produce 12-15 billion doses. This is roughly twice the world's current total vaccine manufacturing capacity.
A scientist holding a coronavirus vaccine at the Nikolai Gamaleya National Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology in Moscow, Russia.
Alexander Zemlianichenko Jr/Russian Direct Investment Fund/AP/AAP
If the vaccine does not protect individuals from infection, those who have been vaccinated could falsely believe they are protected.
The race is on to develop a vaccine for the COVID-19 coronavirus. Australian researchers are leading several major clinical trials that might help bring an end to the deadly disease.
Politicians are throwing billions of dollars at coronavirus vaccine trials, but the real cost of research is the one thing we're lacking – time.
It is critical to learn more about SARS-CoV-2, including its source and why transmission appears to be more efficient than with previous coronaviruses.
Scientists are pursuing several different avenues to develop a vaccine for the novel coronavirus, but the process could take years.
The oral polio vaccine is most commonly used in the developing world, despite one big problem.
CDC/Alan Janssen, MSPH
A challenge in eradicating polio comes from a version of the vaccine itself, which relies on live but attenuated virus. Rationally designing a new vaccine could help get rid of polio once and for all.
Could the yearly flu shot become a thing of the past?
AP Photo/Darron Cummings, File
Flu virus mutates so quickly that one year's vaccine won't work on the next year's common strains. But rational design – a new way to create vaccines – might pave the way for more lasting solutions.
Current plans to eradicate polio mean keeping the virus alive – and risk restarting the epidemic.
Computers may play an important role in preparing us for the next viral outbreak – whether flu or Ebola.
UW Institute for Protein Design
This antivirus software protects health, not computers. Researchers are beginning to combat deadly infections using computer-generated antiviral proteins – a valuable tool to fight a future pandemic.
What if it wasn’t back to the drawing board every year for a new flu shot?
Flu virus mutates so quickly that one year's vaccine won't work on the next year's common strains. But a new way to create vaccines, called 'rational design,' might pave the way for more lasting solutions.