Thousands of researchers around the world have been working tirelessly to develop a vaccine to treat the novel coronavirus that has wreaked havoc across the globe.
But, they say it could be two years before any such vaccine would be ready for public consumption.
Challenges to vaccine development
The biggest challenge researchers face when trying to develop vaccines for emerging viruses like SARS-CoV-2 is a lack of information, Dr. Alyson Kelvin, an assistant professor at Dalhousie University’s Toronto campus and a research scientist at the Canadian Centre for Vaccinology, told Global News.
She said because this novel coronavirus only spilled over into the human population a few months ago, researchers were essentially “starting from scratch.”
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“We don’t have a clinical picture, we don’t have a genetic signature, we don’t have the protein signature,” she said. “We know nothing about this virus.”
She said scientists have had to study what the virus is made of and how it behaves in order to develop a target.