9:00—10:30 AM EDT

COVID-19 Vaccine Predictions: Estimating the Time Before We Approve Efficacious COVID-19 Vaccines

Read the report COVID-19 Vaccine Predictions: Using Mathematical Modelling and Expert Opinions to Estimate Timelines and Probabilities of Success of COVID-19 Vaccines

  • Josh Sharfstein, Vice Dean, Public Health Practice and Community Engagement, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and former Principal Deputy Commissioner of the U.S Food and Drug Administration


  • Gabriel Jaramillo, Chair of Private Sector COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Council of Colombia and former Executive Director of the Global Fund


  • Anthony McDonnell, Senior Policy Analyst, Center for Global Development
  • Robert Van Exan, President, Immunization Policy, and Knowledge Translation. A vaccine expert with 35 years' experience at Sanofi Pasteur
  • Rebecca Weintraub, Director, Better Evidence at Ariadne Labs and Faculty, Global Health and Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Associate Physician, Brigham and Women's Hospital
  • Prashant Yadav, Senior Fellow, Center for Global Development and Professor, Technology and Operations Management, INSEAD


  • Kalipso Chalkidou, Director of Global Health Policy and Senior Fellow, Center for Global Development


Much of the discussion around society’s ability to return to “normality” after the COVID-19 pandemic has centered on the development of a vaccine. This has led to unprecedented collaboration and investment. Vaccine candidate development for COVID-19 is progressing faster than for any other pathogen in history. However, the questions of how long it will take to discover a vaccine, how useful that vaccine will be, and whether the risk has been diversified sufficiently, require research themselves.

To answer these questions and optimize the vaccine portfolio, we have interviewed vaccine experts from academia, industry, and government, to generate estimates for the probabilities of success and timelines for COVID-19 vaccines. We have aggregated these inputs and are releasing them soon in a paper. These findings have been used as inputs for a model we are creating that we hope can estimate timelines for success, as well as identify bottlenecks in both R&D and manufacturing. People will also be able to test these assumptions with their own inputs.

In this event, organized as part of a collaboration with Ariadne Labs, we will outline our results, discuss their implications, and highlight how you can use our model to generate your own estimates for how long it will take to find a COVID-19 vaccine that is safe and efficacious.

If you have questions for our panelists, please submit them to events@cgdev.org, tweet @CGDev#CGDTalks, or submit your comments via YouTube.

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