The eradication of infectious diseases has been achieved only once in history, in 1980, with smallpox. Since 1988, significant effort has been made to eliminate poliomyelitis viruses, but eradication is still just out of reach. As the goal of viral disease eradication approaches, the ability to recreate historically eradicated viruses using synthetic biology has the potential to jeopardize the long-term sustainability of eradication. However, the emergence of the severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus (SARS-CoV)-2 pandemic has highlighted our ability to swiftly and resolutely respond to a potential outbreak. This virus has been synthetized faster than any other in the past and is resulting in vaccines before most attenuated candidates reach clinical trials. Here, synthetic biology has the opportunity to demonstrate its truest potential to the public and solidify a footing in the world of vaccines.