Why fast vaccine development does not mean ‘cutting corners’ – the beauty of mRNA science
The short timeframe in which effective corona vaccines have become available is both, a long-awaited good news, but for many also a concern about safety: Is it really possible to rigorously develop a vaccine so fast? The answer is yes! At least 10 things did go right, with one of the most important reasons being the mRNA technology itself.
1. There was preparedness that a pandemic could come.
2. Funding was provided fast and generously.
3. Priority review by ethics boards accelerated start of clinical trials.
4. Rolling review by EMA and FDA accelerated approval.
5. Electronic patient records benefitted fast and accurate trial data collection on a global scale.
6. The public lined up quickly to participate in clinical trials, saving months on recruitment.
7. Hospitals and research institutes were immediately available to start trials.
8. Vaccination trials took place amidst a wave of infections.
9. mRNA vaccines have extra-ordinary high efficacy (no anti-vector immunity), meeting trial end-points quickly.
10. Once the viral genome was known, initiation of mRNA vaccine development was a matter of days.