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.
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New Zealand has entered several international agreements to access COVID-19 vaccines, but it should also amend domestic patent law and regulatory processes to prevent delays and costly negotiations.
Samples from volunteers are handled in the laboratory at Imperial College in London, on July 30, 2020. Imperial College is working on the development of a COVID-19 vaccine.
(AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
With lives depending on a vaccine, trust in Canada's COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force is crucial. Members of the task force need to make any industry links or potential conflicts of interest publicly clear.
A worker inspects vials of a SARS CoV-2 vaccine for COVID-19 produced by SinoVac at its factory in Beijing on Sept. 24, 2020.
(AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
Our first exposure to a pathogen, either naturally or via vaccination, can affect how our immune system responds in the future to the same or similar pathogens.
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A group of 28 vaccine researchers said we might have a vaccine by late-2021, though it could take until well into 2022.
Research technician Leon McFarlane handles a blood sample from a volunteer in the laboratory at Imperial College in London, where a COVID-19 vaccine is under development, on July 30, 2020.
(AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
With $1 billion in advance purchase agreements for COVID-19 vaccines, Canada has joined the vaccine nationalists: rich countries buying up more than half the global short-term supply of vaccine.
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.
A patient receives a shot in a clinical trial for a COVID-19 vaccine.
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren
Our best shot at ending the pandemic is by achieving herd immunity through widespread use of a vaccine. But that won't happen unless people believe it's safe.
A researcher working on the University of Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine in Buenos Aires.
The COVID-19 vaccine is in the final stages of testing – meaning we should know whether it's effective before the end of the year.
Church leaders have raised concerns over a COVID-19 vaccine produced using cells derived from aborted foetuses. But the Vatican has already ruled such vaccines 'morally separate' from the abortions.
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.
Vaccinologists have not focused their research on tailoring vaccines to induce robust immune responses in the elderly.
Immunosenescence — the decline of immune system function with age — means that vaccines are not as effective in older adults, the demographic most susceptible to many diseases, including COVID-19.
The experimental vaccine stimulates the creation of antibodies. Now we need to show that these effectively protect us from the coronavirus.
A general view during the country’s first human clinical trial for a potential COVID-19 vaccine in Soweto, South Africa.
Felix Dlangamandla/Beeld/Gallo Images via Getty Images
There isn't enough clinical research being done in Africa. This has had a lot of repercussions in terms of the timing when interventions become available and effective in high income countries.
Are we really all in this together? ‘Vaccine nationalism’ must be addressed to ensure equitable distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Word that the U.S. has bought up the entire supply of the COVID-19 drug remdesivir is another reminder that in a pandemic, treatments and vaccines need to be accessible to everyone, globally.
The scope and length of vaccine testing experiments usually mean decade-long timelines for development.
It usually takes 10 years for a new vaccine to complete clinical trials, but we've been promised a COVID-19 vaccine in 12 to 18 months. Even if such fast-tracked development is possible, is it wise?
Dr. Anthony Fauci said that a vaccine could be available as early as January 2021.
AP Photo/Alex Brandon/File
As most of the world early awaits a vaccine for COVID-19, a smaller group of people scoffs. They could spell real trouble in the effort to build widespread immunity.
A test that detects antibodies against the coronavirus behind COVID-19 would reveal those people who have already encountered the virus - and therefore who might be ok to resume normal life.
A vaccine must go through six crucial steps.
Researchers around the world are working hard on developing a vaccine – but the process may still take 12-18 months. Here's why.
We urgently need a vaccine for COVID-19 but exposing humans to a vaccine candidate that hasn't undergone the usual safety assessments is risky.