The COVID-19 vaccines were developed quickly, relatively speaking, but not rushed.
Several factors contributed to the rapid development of COVID-19 vaccines:
- Research relating to previous Coronaviruses SARS (2003) and and MERS (2012) established critical knowledge needed to develop vaccines for SARS-CoV-2 quickly.
- The vaccine developers committed to later phase trials while results from previous phases were incomplete. Normally, this would be an unacceptable financial risk, but the urgency of the pandemic meant that funds were available to take risks such as these.
- Decades of work had already gone into developing mRNA vaccine technology and it was the ideal platform to rapidly develop and deploy a new vaccine.
Bottom line: no required steps were skipped in the process of developing and approving the vaccines.