Coronavirus vaccine development and deployment

There are four strategies to making a vaccine:

  1. Dead virus vaccine: take a live virus, kill or weaken it somehow, and use that. This is the oldest method of developing a vaccine.
  2. Subunit vaccine: uses a small part of the virus to provoke an immune response. These can be produced faster than dea virus vaccine.
  3. Viral vector vaccine: use a genetically modified vaccine to infect the body and provoke an immune response. These have somewhat faster production than (1) and (2)
  4. RNA vaccines: similar to viral vector vaccine, but use RNA instead of a modified virus. The RNA is inserted into the body, and it triggers the production of spike protein and therefore an immune response. These are much faster to produce.

The amount of vaccine needed for herd immunity depends on vaccine effectiveness. Likely will require billions of doses globally. RNA vaccines need to be kept at -80 celsius, which adds to challenge in distribution. Getting raw materials is a challenge. Author expects maybe 2-4 billion doses to be available by end of 2021 in an optimistic scenario.