By Suresh Kumar
Despite divisive leadership that has spawned global mistrust and nationalistic fervor, the world has witnessed unparalleled scientific collaborations — intercontinental, cross-institutional, and cross-functional — among companies, universities, laboratories, and manufacturers to bring a vaccine to market. The result: 250 COVID-19 vaccine candidates in development, 19 of them in safety and dosage testing, 13 more in expanded safety trials, and some entering large-scale Phase 3 trials. National governments and multinational companies are invested. Yet odds are slim that a vaccine demonstrating safety and efficacy via scientific rigor — not political coercion — will be available by year-end. Even having one available during 2021 would be a stupendous achievement.