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To Get a Vaccine Faster

While it can take a decade to develop a new vaccine, researchers are hopeful they can develop one against 2019-nCoV in a matter of months by relying on new genetic tools and other technologies, NPR reports.

One reason it usually takes a long time to develop a vaccine is that viruses have to be isolated and grown in the lab, but with the genome sequence of 2019-nCoV already available, researchers can bypass that process, according to NPR. For instance, it says this has enabled researchers at Wistar Institute to begin work on developing a DNA vaccine and researchers at the University of Queensland to use a molecular clamp approach to boost the immune response to particular viral proteins. Both approaches, NPR notes, need to be tested in animal models and undergo human safety testing.

"We are making very aggressive efforts in the hopes of having a vaccine available — some form of vaccine available, potentially, as early as this fall," Richard Hatchett, CEO of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, a partnership between public, private, and philanthropic groups that is funding both those and other vaccine development projects, tells NPR.