Daily Productive Sharing 130 - How Did USA Develop COVID Vaccines?

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Luck, foresight and science: How an unheralded team developed a COVID-19 vaccine in record time

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Today's recommendation introduces the journey of how the new coronavirus vaccine was developed in the United States, organised in a timeline. It has very visual and dynamic diagrams explaining how the coronavirus invades the body and how the vaccine antibodies help the human immune system to fight the coronavirus.

Luck, foresight and science: How an unheralded team developed a COVID-19 vaccine in record time

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Doing so was a bet that, a few years ago, would have felt as audacious as sending a man to Mars. Vaccines took decades to develop.

But Fauci knew something many did not. Members of his team at the National Institutes of Health and an affiliated biotech company had been preparing for years for just this moment, just this vaccine.

So did committing $9 billion for human trials and manufacturing the vaccine even before it was tested, banking on a green light from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

It relied on messenger RNA, sometimes called the “software of life” because it carries out the instructions of our DNA.

In a vaccine, mRNA instructs our bodies to produce just a piece of the virus, the protein on its surface.

Although in its decadelong existence Moderna had never brought a vaccine to market, it had tested several experimental vaccines in a dozen small clinical trials.

We should scratch the Nipah plan, he urged Stephane Bancel in a Jan. 6 email, in favor of a different proof of concept related to the Wuhan outbreak.

Close to midnight on Jan. 10, Graham was relaxing at his suburban Maryland home when he finally got the news he’d been expecting: Chinese scientists had posted the genetic sequence for what they called the “Wuhan seafood market pneumonia virus.”

Eight days after Graham’s team designed a vaccine, the new coronavirus officially reached the United States.

Local public health officials scrambled to track down at least 50 people who’d had contact with the man in the five days since his return from China. They never found anyone sick, leaving them unsure how contagious this new disease might be.

Our immune systems produce different antibodies for different shapes. The wrong antibody offers less protection – and could even make the virus worse.

Haller didn’t care about the $1,100 stipend being offered to trial participants. She had always felt that as a white person living a middle-class life, she should give something back.