Quite true. But that was for technical reasons to do with surgical technique, getting reliable heart-lung machines and suppressing rejection. All challenges to be sure but things we knew in principle how to do to some extent, they had to be developed to become standard procedures.
A universal vaccine requires a complete breakthrough in somehow getting the immune system to react to an antigen that it hasn’t seen before. Conceptual this is quite another matter as it is not just something we don’t know the details of yet but it is forbidden by current immunological principles.