Since the coronavirus pandemic began several months ago, talks of vaccines have been ongoing. How long it takes to produce, manufacture and get to the public are questions we’ve all been wondering (and hearing conflicting information on).
To help answer some of these questions, we’ve put together some information on vaccines and what you need to know.
How do vaccines work?
To better understand how vaccines work, it’s important to know how our body fights off infection. When a virus or bacteria enters the body, it attacks and multiplies causing infection. In response, the body uses its tools (i.e. white blood cells, which are our immune fighting cells) to fight off the infection. It can take several days to a week for our body to fight off an infection, but once it does, the immune system remembers what it learned when it comes in contact with that virus or bacteria in the future.
Vaccines work by imitating a virus or bacteria without ever causing the illness. Our immune system responds the same way that it would if we were truly infected, creating the same antibodies that protect us in the future.
How long does it take to create and distribute a vaccine?
We’ve heard a lot of conflicting information when it comes to the timeframe needed to create, produce and mass distribute a vaccine. Typically, when new therapies are developed for any illness, it can take several years for approval to be received and a new treatment to be distributed to the public. This may seem like a long time, but this is due to the time it takes to go through the 3 phases of research, ensuring the therapy is safe and effective.
Some vaccine trials can happen more quickly with an FDA fast-track status.
How effective are vaccines?
As we’ve seen with illnesses like polio and measles, vaccines are highly effective at limiting the severity of the infection and even eradicating it in some instances. For example, measles was an illness that was once rare due to vaccinations, however in 2019 over 1000 cases of measles were reported in the US due to some choosing not to vaccinate.
The polio vaccine is also another great example. The first vaccine was given in 1955 and by 1979 polio was eradicated from the US, while in other countries, it continues to be a concern.
Vaccines have undoubtedly saved lives and our team is dedicated to helping advance vaccine research, contributing to success stories like measles and polio.
How do I get involved?
Women’s Healthcare Research conducts clinical trials in a multitude of therapeutic areas. To learn more about how you can participate in our current or upcoming studies, visit our website today.
Participants may see a doctor or medical staff, have access to study vaccines or study drug, and may receive compensation for time and travel.
Get involved today and make a difference for generations to come.