In 2020, scientists embarked on a race to produce a safe and effective coronavirus vaccine in record time. Researchers are currently testing 57 vaccines in clinical trials on humans, and at least 86 preclinical vaccines are under active investigation in animals, according to The New York Times. The coronavirus vaccine is the first vaccine to ever be made in under 4 years.
The first vaccine safety trials on humans started in March, and now 14 have reached the final stages of testing. In November, the first results emerged from late-stage trials, demonstrating that at least some of these vaccines appear to be safe and effective. In December, a trial failed. The others continue. More may fail, while others may succeed in stimulating the immune system to produce effective antibodies against the coronavirus according to The New York Times.
When a COVID-19 vaccine is authorized by FDA and recommended by ACIP (advisory committee on immunization practice), vaccination in the initial phase of the COVID-19 vaccination program (Phase 1a) should be offered to both 1) healthcare personnel and 2) residents of long-term care facilities. Healthcare personnel is defined as paid and unpaid people serving in health care settings who have the potential for direct or indirect exposure to patients or infectious materials. Long-term care facility residents are defined as adults who reside in facilities that provide a variety of services, including medical and personal care, to persons who are unable to live independently. Read more in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report and clinical considerations for further sub-prioritization within these groups as needed, according to cdc.gov.
Many COVID-19 vaccine candidates are in development, and clinical trials are being conducted at the same time with large-scale manufacturing. The first doses were expected before the end of 2020, planning and preparing for a COVID-19 vaccination program is very important and serious.