VaccinesA New Way of Developing Vaccines for COVID-19 Could Help the World to Prepare for Future Outbreaks

Published 31 March 2020

Vaccines are one of our greatest tools to protect against infectious diseases and the world waits with bated breath for a vaccine against coronavirus (COVID-19). The wait might be much shorter if we can hone new methods of vaccine development. Charlie Weller writes for Wellcome Trust that although it has been just nine weeks since scientists around the world received the genetic code for COVID-19, a phase 1 clinical trial for a vaccine (mRNA-1273)(opens in a new tab) has already begun. This timescale from genomic sequence to clinical trial is unprecedented in vaccine development.
This vaccine, unlike traditional vaccines, has been developed using ribonucleic acid (RNA) technology. If successful, the cutting-edge method could revolutionize vaccine development for future disease outbreaks.