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So, there's been a lot of talk about a coronavirus vaccine lately, for obvious reasons. How are vaccines even developed? What's happening with potential Coronavirus vaccines? How is the process different from past vaccines?

Related HCT episodes:
Coronavirus and Immunity, MIS, and Hydroxychloroquine: COVID News Roundup 5-27-2020:

Indiana's COVID-19 Testing Study and What it Means for Reopening:

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We're hearing, talking and thinking about vaccine development a lot more than usual these days.  What's the actual process for developing a vaccine?  And where are we in that process for developing a COVID-19 vaccine?  That's the topic of this week's healthcare triage.
*intro music*
We need a COVID-19 vaccine and the sooner we get it, the better!  There are plenty in development but it may very well be at least 12 to 18 months between us and a safe approved product.
And, honestly, it could be worse.  There's a whole process developing a vaccine; on average this typically takes 10 to 15 years and costs about a billion dollars.
In the United States vaccine development starts with basic reasurch.  This is where scientists set about the task of identifying an antigen; a molecular piece of a pathogen that will induce an immune response, particularly the production of pathogen-specific antibodies.  This stage generally takes between two and five years.  We did have a head start here thanks to past outbreaks of other coronaviruses like SARS.
For example, we know that these viruses have what's called spike proteins on their surfaces.  Responsible for their spike like proteins you see in all the renderings and for the viruse's ability to enter host cells.  And we may be able to exploit that in a vaccine.