On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. International lockdowns, the loss of loved ones, and vast uncertainty, are just a few of the ways the pandemic has posed challenges for all of us. Thankfully, long before COVID-19 struck - beginning in 2003 with the outbreak of SARs and MERs - scientists began working on a human coronavirus vaccine. Since then, remarkable strides have been made with the vaccines, and now the end of the pandemic is in sight.
In just two years since the COVID-19 pandemic began, nearly 560 million vaccinations have been administered in the U.S. Now, we can take the many important lessons learned to continue to make extraordinary advances in science and medicine and carve a solid path forward towards pandemic preparedness. COVID-19 has shown us we have the tools better anticipate and or even prevent the next pandemic before it starts, and the time to prepare is now.