The other thing is, this vaccine didn’t appear overnight, even though it looks like Dr. McCoy mixed it in sick bay to save everyone in 50 minutes before the episode ended.
We first encountered coronaviruses in 1930, when a strange respiratory infection wiped out poultry farms in the Midwest. We knew they were something animals could get; I had a cat die of it in a weird presentation that went to her brain. We actually had an early vaccine for canine coronavirus…in 1991.
When the virus jumped from bats to humans in 2002 (SARS-1), there was serious potential that it could have gone the way COVID19 did. But because it wasn’t as infectious and with strict quarantine and isolation, it didn’t. The early canine vaccine did show some effect, and the researchers began working on one for SARS, using that and other work on animal coronaviruses. They actually came up with a vaccine that was effective against SARS-1, but lacked the funding for clinical trials, and as the virus had pretty much died out by then, there wasn’t much opportunity to continue. Big
Pharma certainly wasn’t going to invest in a vaccine for a virus that wasn’t a threat.
But all of that was there when COVID hit. The groundwork was there for the lightning fast creation of the vaccine.