How far away is a vaccine?
The most hopeful estimates fall within the range of 12 to 18 months.
A report for the British government put it at “potentially 18 months or more”.
Basic steps to make a vaccine:
- Design a way of giving a human immunity against a virus.
- Make sure the vaccine is not toxic.
- Test it in animals.
- Test it in humans – and the tests need to be large so we can make sure it works and is safe.
- Make the billions of doses needed. And there is every chance a vaccine that looks promising in the lab, or in animal tests, won’t work in humans.
Experts are hoping to roll out a safe vaccine within 18 months. But even that would be unprecedented. No vaccine has ever been developed that quickly.