COVID-19 is a novel, highly pathogenic viral infection caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) that originated in Wuhan City, China in late 2019.

As of July 16, 2020, there were >13.7 million cases of COVID-19 worldwide with >588,000 deaths, while in Canada there are >108,800 confirmed cases with approximately 8,810 deaths. This rapidly growing global pandemic of SARS-CoV-2 infections has incited a worldwide effort to identify effective preventative strategies and optimal medical treatments.

Other than physical distancing, frequent hand washing, proper cough etiquette and wearing mask to slow down the spread of this virus, a safe and effective vaccine for COVID-19 may be our only hope of stopping this pandemic, but how long will it take (12, 18, 24 months or longer)?

In almost light speed, the virus was isolated, sequenced, the sequence released to the global R&D community and the search for vaccines began.  In breakneck speed we saw a jump from a few vaccine candidates to now 173 candidates in various points in the R&D pipeline, 33 of these in clinical evaluation (as of July 15, 2020).

During this online Science Café Erling Rud, Adjunct Professor in the Department of Health Sciences at Carleton University, will summarize where we are in October 2020 and explain the approaches used and challenges with developing a safe and effective vaccine to prevent COVID-19.


Explore science through Carleton University’s popular Science Cafés, now being held online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

We hope to resume our in-person Science Cafés in the future, generally held twice a month during the fall and winter terms at the Sunnyside Branch of the Ottawa Public Library. For now, you are invited to join us online for a lively discussion around a scientific issue of the day. Be prepared to be informed, engaged and even amused, as our professors share their scientific discoveries with you. All are welcome to join us via Zoom Webinar.

Visit the Science Café website for more information on upcoming online Science Cafés and to sign up for our newsletter, or contact the Faculty of Science by email at and by telephone at 613-520-4388.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020 in , , ,
Share: Twitter, Facebook