The Rapid Deployment Vaccine Collaborative (RaDVaC) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose goal is to maximize access to vaccines when and where they are needed most: at the beginning of outbreaks, before they become dangerous pandemics. RaDVaC was formed to produce safe and effective vaccines in the earliest days of outbreaks, and through decentralized vaccine self-administration to create proof-of-principle demonstrations of the safety of very early stage vaccines. RaDVaC is creating an open-source information-sharing network of users–from individuals to research organizations, and from non-profits to vaccine companies–in order to advance the broad adoption, production, and deployment of easily made vaccines. In short, our goal is to maximize access to vaccines by maximizing access to the underlying science and tools of vaccinology, in times and places of need.
RaDVaC’s mission is rapid development, testing, and free and open-source sharing of vaccine designs and essential protocols. In serious outbreaks and pandemics like the SARS-CoV-2 crisis—with dire costs in both human life and health, and massive economic consequences—rapid deployment of emergency vaccines is both a practical and ethical imperative. When many thousands are dying every day of a disease that continues to spread, and with the scientific capability largely in place, rapid must mean a few weeks, not several months or years.
However, the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic revealed that public health systems throughout the world were poorly prepared to assess and distribute vaccines. The result is that commercial vaccines that were designed and produced in a few weeks are taking at least a year to reach most people—and possibly over two years for many countries.
In contrast, beginning early in the 2020 pandemic, we designed, produced, and self-administered several progressive generations of nasal vaccines against SARS-CoV-2. As of early 2021, hundreds of people (minimally) have self-administered the vaccine. We have not filed patents or secured other intellectual property protections, and all information on our vaccine designs, production, self-administration, and testing is freely shared on this website under open licenses (CC BY 4.0 and OCL-P v1.1) in partnership with the Creative Commons Open COVID Pledge. Similar to other open-source projects, RaDVaC work is freely available to all, to build on our efforts to deploy protective vaccines rapidly and safely. To further coordination of research efforts, we are facilitating a collaborative network via our Researchers Map, and other outreach activities.
We are hopeful that the next outbreak or pandemic does not occur soon, but we believe outbreaks remain inevitable. The World Health Organization has described the current pandemic as a “wake-up call” to prepare for continued threats in the future which will potentially be more severe. RaDVaC’s rapid-response vaccine platform is uniquely simple and modular, and easily modified for deployment in response to future outbreaks. We are working to be prepared, and hope others across the globe will be inspired to take similar steps to avert needless loss of life and livelihood when the next outbreak strikes. If we act swiftly enough, we should be able to prevent future outbreaks from becoming pandemics.