Pandemic-era research will pay off in years


AAfter the advent of COVID, a huge number of virologists, biochemists, cell biologists and immunologists transferred their work to the coronavirus, and thanks to this the world got what it desperately hoped for: a vaccine, in record time. Everything turned out better than we could have dreamed of – several parallel vaccines, all with high efficiency. We are also watching the spread of antivirals.

Scientists can use all these efforts to better understand other viruses and diseases. Never before have we been able to simultaneously test multiple vaccine platforms, head to head, in massive global clinical trials. Usually you’re lucky if you get one vaccine to test, and if it doesn’t, you really don’t know if the concept worked or just one platform.

I expect that scientists will use the entire COVID research infrastructure to create more vaccines against other pathogens such as cytomegalovirus and respiratory syncytial virus, as well as to create mRNA vaccines against influenza. In addition, most coronavirus studies were collaborative. It will stay with the people. Future work will pay off more than if all these people returned to their own niches.

This will not be the last pandemic we see. This will not be the last health crisis. I hope COVID has made the public aware of the importance of sustainable investment in science. We don’t know what revelation we will come across that will be salvation next time.

Pandemic-era research will pay off in years

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