Understanding the path to a COVID-19 vaccine

Companies and researchers racing to develop a COVID-19 vaccine will encounter numerous challenges as they try to understand how the immune system reacts to the virus that causes the disease.

A June 10, 2020 Harvard Magazine article examined various vaccines in development, the swift timeline researchers are working under, and the challenges they are encountering.

Barry Bloom, Joan L. and Julius H. Jacobson Research Professor of Public Health, noted that even if a company does develop a promising vaccine, one of the big challenges will be producing the vaccine at a global scale of potentially billions of doses.

The article also featured Sarah Fortune, John LaPorte Given Professor of Immunology and Infectious Diseases and chair of the Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, who discussed the good and the bad of early results from studies of potential vaccines in animals, as well as Marc Lipstich, professor of epidemiology and director of the Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics, who discussed how human challenge trials, in which volunteers are infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, could speed up the development of a vaccine.

Read the Harvard Magazine article: Ending an Epidemic