The development of the first covid vaccines may have seemed to occur at a dizzying pace. After all, scientists identified a new virus and created vaccines to protect against its most severe effects within a year. This story also ran on PolitiFact. It can be republished for free.

But the research underpinning these vaccines isn’t that new at all, vaccine experts say. Some of it is decades old. This foundation, combined with technical expertise, urgency and financial resources, enabled scientists to pull off the medical marvel. “The reason it was so fast is money and work,” said Dr. Paul Offit, …

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