A Common question about the Covid19 vaccines

There is a lot of talk about the UK hitting peak vaccine take up. This seems to be even worst in the states with incentives offered to get people vaccinated.

When talking to people I know who refuse to get vaccinated, I try and get into the grit of it. Usually I wonder if the fear of needles is actually the problem, as discussed previously.

But one question which comes up over and over again. Questions over the speed of the Covid19 vaccine and has it been properly tested?

This one always comes up and I describe to people what happened with mRNA. (I’m going to leave out the question of who exactly is credited with being the creator/investor/scientist/etc of mRNA – Although I always credited Katalin Karik).

In short the Messenger RNA method and Adenovirus was developed many years before, the scientists worked very hard on this new method but couldn’t get funding for the research because funder couldn’t see the point. I mean SARS, MERS, etc had vaccines, so the funders didn’t really see the point in funding this experimental method.

Of course this all changed when the Covid19 pandemic started. All that previous research work massively helped accelerate a usually very long process (along with other changes)

These will have a massive effect on future pandemics (you didn’t think this was the last one did you? Oh you are so cute!)

Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.

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