Bill Gates has an excellent post on his blog on everything we need to know about the COVID-19 vaccine. He breaks down the challenges nicely
First, we need to move faster than we’ve ever moved to create a vaccine while ensuring a) safety and b) efficacy
Second, we need one of the 8-10 most promising candidates in the ~115 candidate pipeline to do well in the trials. The challenge here is that some of the most promising candidates are also pioneering a new approach to vaccination where we replace injecting an antigen with teaching the body to create the antigen.
Third, we’ll need to make trade-offs between solutions that may not be perfect. The small pox vaccine wasn’t perfect – but it did the job. Similarly, a vaccine with ~70% efficacy may be all we need.
Third, we need to manufacture and distribute 7 billion doses of the vaccine as fast as possible. This is fraught with its own set of complications.
But, as he points out, organizations and nations are coming together in wonderful ways to make this possible.
The timeline of this vaccine will be the single biggest determinant of when (relative) normalcy will return to the world. So, I’m grateful to Bill for laying this out so beautifully.
I hope you find 5 minutes to go read it. Again, it is here.