That’s remarkable — because of how fast they’ve been developed. It’s been less than a year. Usually, vaccines take a good half decade or so. And yet here we are, just short of year into the greatest public health crisis of the modern era — and there’s already a bevy of vaccines coming available. That’s a stunning triumph for science (and also for sane, thinking people.)
It's not really a stunning triumph for science. There are 3 specific steps that make vaccine production take so long.
The first is the experimenting phase where they try find what will work. The similarity to SARS simplified that step.
The second hurdle is bureaucratic bs. When a manufacturer submits an application for a license to produce the vaccine, it usually takes 10-12 months to get a reply. Which means it sits on some dude's desk until they get around to it.
Last hurdle is clinical testing. They have to run through several rounds (usually 3) of testing before it gets approval.
Moderna started phase 1 of testing last March. MARCH. It's been in testing for almost 10 months.
Why did that all happen so fast? #1 and #2 didn't take as long as usual. Because it's not just any illness. It's a pandemic.