Just in case anyone is concerned about how fast the COVID-19 vaccines were produced: it is because they are variants of the SARS vaccine, which we've had for more than a decade.

COVID-19 can be treated with a variant of the SARS vaccine because COVID-19 is a variant of SARS. The virus that causes SARS is SARS-CoV, and the 2019 novel coronavirus is SARS-CoV-2.

Because of this, researchers had a vaccine ready for testing as early as January 2020. The COVID-19 vaccine had, in fact, nearly a full year of testing and refinement. It is not by any means "experimental" or "untested".

@noelle Cool story. So where are the safe, approved versions of SARS vaccines? You seem to insinuate that they exist. And for "more than a decade" even.

Last year, the vast majority of them were still in pre-clinical trial, and only 2 of them in phase 1.


@raucao @noelle SARS was easy to detect and disappeared quickly, so there weren't any patients to do trials on and no profit in developing the vaccines further.

@clacke @noelle Yes. But that doesn't change the fact that there wasn't a sufficiently trialed vaccine to base the new ones on, but plenty of issues that prevented them from progressing to later trial stages back then.

@raucao @noelle The expected minimum time from hey we have the sequence to trials done was 18 months and they expedited it by e.g. starting phase 3 before phase 2 was done, so they could get it done. I'm not aware of any plenty of issues.
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