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VERIFY: Why don't we have a vaccine for the common cold?

In less than a year researchers created a COVID-19 vaccine and distributed it. Why can't we do the same for the cold?

WASHINGTON — It is still a marvel of modern medicine that COVID-19 vaccines took less than a year to develop and distribute.  Every year we have a shot for the flu.

It has some people wondering about the common cold.


Why do we not have a vaccine for the common cold?


It’s combination of what causes colds and the severity of colds.

Our Sources:

 Dr. Linda Nabha, an infectious diseases expert. The CDC.

What We Found:

“I think there's two things at play here,” Dr. Nabha explained.

According to Dr. Nabha, the first thing is what causes the common cold. Whereas COVID-19 and the flu are caused by one virus or virus strain, the common cold is not.

RELATED: VERIFY: Which COVID-19 variants should you be worried about?

“There isn't one particular virus or bacteria one particular infectious disease particle that that causes the common cold it's really caused by an umbrella of different viruses,” Dr. Nabha said.

Dr. Nabha the second reason is: the common cold is not deadly.

“It's annoying, certainly, when you get the common cold,” Dr. Nabha said, “But generally almost everyone gets over the common cold and they do fine."

Since the common cold is not deadly and it’s made up of multiple viruses, Dr. Nabha said there really is not a lot of effort by the medical community to study the common cold to find a vaccine.

According to the CDC, when you get the common cold it can be a different combination of viruses each time. Unlike the flu, the CDC estimates adults get the cold two to three times a year.

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