COVID-19 Vaccine Break Through

From pfizer.com

From pfizer.com

COVID-19 SCIENTIFIC RESOURCES
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COVID-19 has swept over the world this past year as all people have all had to adapt and try to overcome this global pandemic. As 1.3 million people have passed away due to the virus, and 53 million people have gotten infected, most people are fed up with the year 2020 and ready for it to be written into the books. Many people want a fresh start with the new year 2021, but when the clock strikes 12, many people will be disappointed as the worldwide pandemic won’t disappear with the change of date. But after months of quarantining, wearing a mask, and social distancing there is recent optimism for a vaccine that could return the world to their daily lives pre-pandemic. Pfizer, an American biopharmaceutical company, and BioNTech, a German biotechnology company, have teamed up to create a vaccine that is about to be submitted to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) after phase three testing. This is one very big step to fight the COVID-19 virus.

Since the beginning of the pandemic in America president Trump has teamed up with major pharmaceutical companies in a race to create a vaccine as soon as safely possible. After months of quarantining, job loss, death, and struggles, one vaccine is giving many Americans optimism going into the New Year. Pfizer and BioNTech have been working together on a vaccine for months now and it has made it through phase three testing. After phase three, the vaccine is sent off to the FDA for emergency review and hopefully approval. If the Vaccine gets approved, this could potentially end the COVID-19 pandemic.  

How does the vaccine work? The vaccine is not the classic vaccine that contains a strand of the virus or disease so the immune system can recognize it and fight it off. This vaccine is an mRNA vaccine, mRNA stands for messenger ribonucleic acid, and is completely different from the simple flu shot. The mRNA vaccine contains strands of genetic material, mRNA, which creates a protein that fights off COVID-19.

Vaccine Maker Pledge
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BioNTech released on their website, biontech.de, an explanation of the vaccine, “Our vaccine consists of a short segment of genetic material, called messenger RNA, that provides instructions for a human cell to make a harmless version of a target protein, or immunogen, which activates the body’s immune response against the SARS-CoV-2 virus.” 

The immunogens should create antibodies against the COVID-19 virus, meaning that once the vaccine is taken people will have become immune to the virus. This a potential pandemic-ending breakthrough.

One may ask: how will this vaccine be distributed?  In America, the distribution of a vaccine has become politicized, with both sides arguing with each other. And with the 2020 election swaying in president-elect Joe Biden’s favor, it is uncertain how the vaccine will be distributed.

According to MSNBC.com, President Trump said, Logistically, we’re using our military, our great military — a group of people, their whole life is based around logistics and bringing things to and from locations — and they’ll be able to take care of this locationally and bringing it where it has to go very, very quickly. They’re all mobilized. It’s been fully set up.”

Our Vaccine Efforts
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But lots of the pandemic decisions have been decided not by the federal government, but by the state governments.  Bostonhearld.com wrote, ”The federal government leads distribution of the vaccine, but governors will decide who gets the vaccine first within their state.”  The vaccine is distributed by both the federal government, but the state governors will set the requirements needed to get the vaccine.  Webmd.com wrote, ”Health care workers and other essential workers will probably be the first to get the vaccine, which will initially be released in small quantities.” 

Once the healthcare workers and essential workers get vaccinated, elderly people or people with health conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure are most likely next in line for the vaccine. And when the production of the vaccine is increased, it would most likely be introduced to the general public. 

When the vaccine becomes available, many people fear that it will be too expensive for most people to afford, but that is not the case. 

The administration is ‘working to ensure that no American has to pay for the vaccine,’ one official told the outlet,” NYPost.com wrote. 

A free vaccine in America would be great and amazing for all Americans, but for smaller and poorer countries a free vaccine is not an option. 

Social distancing, wearing a mask, working from home, and fear of getting a virus has been part of daily life for the past year. With the optimism of a new vaccine, breakthrough lives could be returned to the way they were pre-pandemic, and thousands or even millions of lives can be saved. This is one step closer to beating this global pandemic.