The developments will likely generate hopeful headlines and may create impressions that if
Don't bet on it.
It would take at least five to 10 years to make and test a
"There's a long way to go from showing in a research laboratory that you've got a potential candidate vaccine to actually producing a bottle of that vaccine that is going to be used or stockpiled," says Dr.
"Our technical ability to make (experimental) vaccines has sort of outpaced our social and political and economic infrastructure to figure out how to do this."
In fact, developing a vaccine to prevent infection in camels or whatever animal turns out to be transmitting the virus to people may be a more realistic and rapidly achievable goal, some experts following the
Animal vaccines are far cheaper to make. Getting them through the approval process is also substantially easier than persuading regulators like the
"The first commercial West Nile vaccine for horses was licensed two years after the introduction in the U.S. of the virus (in 1999)," says Dr.
"We still don't have a human vaccine. I mean, we have an experimental human vaccine, but nothing approved."
In the early days of a new disease threat _ like SARS in 2003 and its viral cousin
But just because a vaccine can be made doesn't mean it will be. After all, vaccines aren't just health aids _ they are products. And producing them has to make economic sense.
"Companies don't make big investments in bringing forward new vaccines just because they think somebody might want it someday," says
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