The first coronavirus vaccines have arrived.
Scientists, drugmakers and governments have moved with unprecedented haste to develop a vaccine against the new coronavirus. The fastest of them have completed studies proving their vaccines can protect against COVID-19. A half dozen shots from developers in the U.S., U.K., Germany, China and Russia have now been cleared by regulators for emergency use.
Their success is a scientific feat with few parallels. No vaccine has ever been developed so quickly, never mind readied for widespread use.
Vaccine frontrunners have progressed quickly
Use the buttons below to highlight events in each company's timeline. Solid dots indicate events which have occurred, while striped bars indicate company estimates for when an event will occur.
With the health of their citizens at stake, governments invested enormous sums of money into vaccine research and development, and to prepare to manufacture and distribute what will likely need to be billions of doses necessary to keep the pandemic at bay.
The immunization campaigns that are just now getting underway will help determine whether the virus becomes endemic, recurring year after year, or is ultimately checked.
The frenetic race to develop a vaccine, and to secure supplies of the leading candidates, has led to political jockeying between governments, however. Russia, seeking a Sputnik-like achievement to tout to the world, approved a vaccine before testing was complete, while China cleared experimental shots for limited domestic use early on. The Trump administration, meanwhile, pledged more than $11 billion in funding for seven candidates through "Operation Warp Speed."
Initial doses of authorized vaccines are in short supply, and early access has largely been dictated by lucrative deals struck between drugmakers and governments. Yet, to truly curb the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, getting vaccines to nations wealthy and poor will be a vital mission.
Here's where things stand for 14 of the most advanced, most promising or best-funded vaccine candidates. Use the menu on the left to jump to a developer.
Author:Jonathan Gardner, Ned Pagliarulo, Ben Fidler