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All sizes of pharmaceutical firms from giants like Johnson & Johnson to young guns like Moderna, yet to bring their first product to market, are vying to be the first to offer a vaccine for COVID-19. US regulators have already pulled back certain restrictions and requirements to bolster their efforts and move timetables forward. While some may see this as a good sign, 12 to 18 months is far from standard for vaccine development, a process usually discussed in terms of years. Similar urgency has proven reckless in the past and investors should approach this opportunity with caution.

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