There’s a virtual triangle that applies to many things in life… especially when it comes to actually creating or building something. Any project, really… and it’s a basic triangle where the three sides are labelled: Time, Quality and Cost.
Typically, you can pick any angle… and that’s what you’ll get; what those two sides offer – at the expense of the opposite side.
Want it quickly and cheaply? No problem, but don’t expect quality.
Want quality and want it soon? Sure, but be prepared to pay for it.
Want quality without spending too much? It can be done, but you’ll have to be patient.
It’s interesting trying to map this to the development of a vaccine. Everyone is throwing lots of money at it, so the only thing that’s sliding around is quality versus time.
On the one hand, you have a conglomerate of responsible companies who’ve signed a pledge not to rush anything to market until it’s ready, which means every step of a rigorous scientific process. Many of those are currently in phase 3… which is one step before early or limited approval.
On the other hand, you have President Trump promising a vaccine any day now, completely contradicting the head of Operation Warp Speed… and you also have a few places who’ve rushed a vaccine and knowingly are throwing it out there, having side-stepped phase 3, and/or doing it in unison. It’s also relevant that those places are Russian and China, where political statements and optics often outshine what’s in the best interests of the greater population. It’s pretty much the message that Trump is trying to shove down the throats of anyone who’ll listen, but it’s heartening to see scientists banding together in solidarity rebuking it.
The scientific world is well-aware what it takes to properly develop a safe vaccine. It’s a process. Like making a baby… that’s also a process. That one takes a man, a woman and nine months. You can’t throw nine men at it and hope to have the baby in a month. You can’t throw money at it. If you want to do it, there’s exactly one way to do it right, no matter what the president says.
And, fortunately, in the U.S. and Canada and many other places around the world, that’s what’s happening… there are presently 24 vaccine candidates in phase one, 14 in phase two and 9 in phase three. Many of them will probably hit the finish line around the same time. Getting them out there to everyone is a different issue, but first things first.