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How were the COVID vaccines developed so quickly?

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This is one of the biggest concerns that I’ve heard, and it’s a valid one. Historically, it takes years to develop new vaccines, so it’s no surprise that people are wondering how these vaccines are coming to market so quickly and whether were any corners were cut in order to make that happen.  

While there were many contributing factors that made this possible, the short answer is teamwork. Because of the urgent need, scientists, companies, and governments from around the world collaborated and shared information like never before. Funding from governments and the private sector were made available so that there were no delays in the research, development or testing , and some processes that usually are conducted in a sequential manner, were allowed to take place in parallel, shaving months off the timeline.    

Also, scientists didn’t have to start from scratch here – they are building on a foundation of knowledge about vaccines and coronaviruses that already existed. Even the newest types of the vaccines made with mRNA are based on over a decade of study. So, in short, everyone is right to ask this question, but I hope the answer is both comforting and inspiring.  No corners were cut.  Before being used in the general population, these vaccines have to pass the same rigorous safety requirements that all other vaccines have.  

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