Since then, eight vaccines have been fully approved for use in the fight against COVID, and a further nine are in early or limited use. Researchers are currently testing 95 potential COVID-19 vaccines in clinical trials on humans, and 32 have reached the final stages of testing.
But with several highly effective vaccines already in use, why is it important to keep working on and investing in vaccine development?
Having a range of COVID-19 vaccines accessible around the world is essential to bring the pandemic under control, because:
- Any one vaccine will not be as effective or suitable for everyone: We often need multiple vaccines for a disease to be able to protect different groups of people.
- Production needs to happen quickly and at scale: By developing and investing in multiple vaccine candidates we stand a much better chance of having the volume of doses we need to help contain the virus.
- New technologies may improve vaccine accessibility: Dosing regime, storage requirements and manufacturing costs of current approved vaccines means there are inherent challenges to getting vaccines to everyone that needs them.
- Some vaccines are more or less effective against new variants: Like any virus, COVID-19 will continue to adapt and mutate – having a range of vaccines in our armoury that utilise different technologies gives us the best chance for fighting infections.
With the unfortunate results of German produced vaccine Curevac, the world continues to search for more successful alternatives, and new hope emerges with new treatments which promises to compare against current successful mRNA vaccines.