Rapid development of vaccines for COVID-19 has relied on the application of existing vaccine technologies. This work examines the maturity of ten technologies employed in candidate vaccines (as of July 2020) and NIH funding for published research on these technologies from 2000–2019. These technologies vary from established platforms, which have been used successfully in approved products, to emerging technologies with no prior clinical validation. A robust body of published research on vaccine technologies was supported by 16,358 fiscal years of NIH funding totaling $17.2 billion from 2000–2019. During this period, NIH funding for published vaccine research against specific pandemic threats such as coronavirus, Zika, Ebola, and dengue was not sustained. NIH funding contributed substantially to the advance of technologies available for rapid development of COVID-19 vaccines, suggesting the importance of sustained public sector funding for foundational technologies in the rapid response to emerging public health threats.
Kiszewski, Anthony E.; Cleary, Ekaterina Galkina; Jackson, Matthew J.; and Ledley, Fred D., 2021. NIH funding for vaccine readiness before the COVID-19 pandemic, Vaccine.