There are now more than 70 vaccines currently being developed globally, including here in Canada, as research teams race to find a successful vaccine against the novel coronavirus and help countries escape lockdowns.

The World Health Organization said on April 13 that three potential vaccines for the virus are now in early-stage testing in volunteers in China and the U.S., but experts say there is still a long road ahead to find out if they work. Timelines for when a vaccine becomes widely available remain at 12 to 18 months.

2:45Coronavirus outbreak: What happens after we flatten the curve?

Coronavirus outbreak: What happens after we flatten the curve?

At the University of Western Ontario, Chil-Yong Kang, a professor of virology, and his team have been working 12 hours a day, seven days a week to find a vaccine for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

Their work is being built on research done for a vaccine candidate Kang previously produced for Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), caused by a coronavirus similar to the one that causes COVID-19.