Vaccines: What They Are, How They Work, and Why They Take So Long To Develop
Why Do Vaccines Take So Long To Develop
A vaccine is a biological preparation that provides active acquired immunity to a particular infectious disease, often made from weakened forms of microbes. It stimulates the body’s immune system to recognize a particular disease as a threat, destroy it, and to further recognize and destroy any of it’s microorganisms that it may encounter in the future. The administration of vaccines is called vaccination. Vaccination is the most effective method of preventing infectious diseases, and widespread immunity due to vaccination is largely responsible for the worldwide eradication of smallpox and the restriction of diseases such as polio, measles, and tetanus from much of the world. Unfortunately for all of us in 2020 and fearful of the current pandemic, it takes a long time to develop vaccines. The time period “18 months at best” is often cited, and in this presentation we’ll discuss why that is.