In addition to the imminent discovery and development of novel therapeutics, a long-term path out of this will be the development of a vaccine. Clinical trials are underway with several promising candidates. Significant challenges remain.
First, a vaccine may take many months if not more than a year to develop. To get a sense of the difficulty, if a successful vaccine is developed even within 18 months, it will be the fastest vaccine ever developed in the history of the world, by at least twofold.
Second, this time frame assumes that the vaccine turns out to be effective. There are no guarantees that a vaccine will offer full or even partial protection, so we must be prepared to activate all of the other Priority Areas. Third, accomplishing this will require a massive scale-up of production and distribution of the vaccine, in a way that has never been achieved previously. Fourth, and most importantly, an effective vaccine will only be successful in protecting people of all countries if it is equitably distributed globally.