Anthony Vicari

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COVID: How did we do? How can we know?

I think your happy timeline is still too conservative. Moderna didn't suddenly gain the ability to make a vaccine in 2 days, just before the pandemic began. Realistically they must have had the ability for some fraction of their decade-long existence. In the world where our institutions didn't get in the way as you describe, Moderna would have long since launched mRNA vaccines against other infectious diseases like the flu or malaria. The factories (at least a few) would have already been built and could have been repurposed without massive new investment, the public (or at least public institutions) would already be familiar and somewhat comfortable with the technology, and distribution channels would already be in place.