Given all the talk about the development of a potential COVID-19 vaccine—as well as the news that clinical trials for some candidates have already begun— you may be asking yourself how clinical trials actually work. Any vaccine that is approved for use on millions of Americans must complete a rigorous testing process—including the exploratory stage, the preclinical stage, clinical development, regulatory review and approval, manufacturing and quality control—so it's important to remember that the mere fact that trials are underway does not mean a vaccine is imminent.
In the wake of COVID-19, we're seeing intense international competition for urgently-needed supplies including personal protection equipment and ventilators. In Australia, this could extend to other critical imports such as pharmaceuticals and medicines. And when our manufacturing sector can't fill unexpected breaks in supply chains, we all face risk.