Where are we with the COVID-19 vaccines?

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Since COVID-19 started to ravage the world in 2019, scientists and researchers have tried to develop ways to combat the virus by creating vaccines to prevent the virus from spreading and doing more damage.

In around April 2020, it was reported that the earliest any vaccines could be made available was going to be in mid to late 2021 which is super quick, as normally, vaccines take years to complete.

When this news broke, optimism returned to a world consumed by gloom, as people began to anticipate the arrival of the vaccines.

While this was going on, different methods were used in treating people who suffered from the disease, and a lot of the methods were unsuccessful, leaving the vaccines as the last hope of people.

In December 2020, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisers approved the use of Pfizer BioNTech vaccine with an emergency use authorization.

The vaccine was created by a collaboration between Pfizer Pharmaceuticals of New York City and BioNTech of Mainz, Germany.

The vaccine had a 95% efficiency rate in preventing the virus from attacking people when it underwent clinical trials, and it had no important side effects, although its long-term effects are unknown as of now. Shortly after this authorization was received in the US, an authorization for use in the UK was received as well.

The vaccine is required to be kept frozen at a temperature of -70 degrees Celsius to keep it from losing its efficiency. The vaccine is given in two shots at an interval of 21 days for its complete dose.

Shortly after the Pfizer-BioNTech validation, US FDA advisers approved the emergency use of the Moderna vaccine created by Moderna or Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The Moderna vaccine was created in collaboration with the United States National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

It was Moderna’s first vaccine, as they had promised to make use of RNA as a therapeutic agent. Their vaccine is very similar to that of Pfizer-BioNTech in that it also consists of RNA molecules enclosed in lipid nanoparticles. The RNA encodes a slightly modified form of SARS-Cov-2 protein known as Spike.

The RNA produces a protein which then triggers an immune response in the individual before it gets degraded by the cell within a day of the injection. It was seen to have a 94% efficiency during its clinical trials with no notable side effects to boot.

Its method of storage is also quite different from the Pfizer-BioNTech one, as it can be stored in a freezer at a temperature of -20 degrees Celsius for a period of 6 months or in a refrigerator at 4 degrees Celsius for 30 days without losing its efficacy. The vaccine is delivered in 2 shots 28 days apart given intramuscularly in the upper arm.

Currently, a few other vaccines are undergoing clinical trials to provide information about their efficacy, with the vaccine from AstraZeneca, Janssen Vaccine and Novavax vaccine most notable of these vaccines.

The vaccines are being fast tracked to reach every corner of the world and the world is optimistic that very soon, pubs, schools, the casino online, beaches, and other places of gathering will be full of people once more.