In an interview with Science, Moncef Slaoui, chief adviser to Operation Warp Speed, said the process of developing a Covid-19 vaccine has benefited from improving technology and past experiences with coronaviruses.
“This one has benefited from many things,” Slaoui said. “One is the advance of platform technologies in vaccinology, particularly over the past 10 years. The second thing it has really benefited from is SARS and MERS [two respiratory diseases caused by coronaviruses related to SARS-CoV-2]. Vaccines were designed for those. So, knowing how to how to construct the [structure] of the spike was super important. From that perspective, it's easier because past experience has been extremely relevant to this.”
Slaoui also said that “we haven’t yet hit the wall” when it comes to designing trials, manufacturing vaccines, finding study endpoints and clinical trial sites, for example.
“One of the reasons we said we needed six or eight vaccines is because some of them may or will hit the wall,” he said.