Possible COVID Vaccine in the Works

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After waiting for what seems a whole era with the COVID-19 virus, companies Pfizer and BioNTech have released statements concerning the development of a possible vaccine. There are multiple trials being conducted as these companies scramble to be the first in finding a vaccine. This challenge has been undertaken by multiple biotech companies since March 2020, but now might be the time. 

The science behind the vaccine 

The simple textbook definition of the term “vaccine” states that it is medical preparation that provides acquired immunity against pathogens (nefarious diseases). The “acquired immunity” administered through the form of needles, a solution containing a piece of heat-killed strain of the actual virus. While this information may sound alarming, it is important to remember that the disease germ introduced in the body does not cause the disease since it is extremely weakened or dead. There are also other ingredients in the vaccine solution such as antibiotics, aluminum salt and safe formaldehyde which keep the disease germ in check. A vaccine’s purpose is to catalyze the creation of antibodies (defensive proteins) within your immune system, so one’s body is prepared to tackle the eventual introduction of the virus. This is not a cure, but a successful preventive measure to protect if one ever contracts said virus. 

Vaccines and the infamous controversy surrounding it 

The most common misconception regarding vaccination is the possibility that it might lead to onset autism and other developmental discrepancies. Autism is a disorder caused by a mutation in the genes as the fetus is developed, so it is not possible for it to develop due to the administration of a vaccine. A major eyebrow raiser between parents is the fact that vaccines contain formaldehyde, since it’s usually seen in household products. The CDC, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, has proved that some amounts of this substance are alright and it does aid as a precaution against pathogens. The presence of formaldehyde is the reason the germ present in the vaccine stays inactive. Some also regard the administration of vaccines as a violation of their human rights, since they are mandatory in public schools and other areas of regular gathering. Statements concerning the welfare of vaccines are usually met with disdain since they are based on assumptions and not on proven trials. 

Pfizer research and administration  

According to the official Pfizer website, this possible vaccine has shown 90% efficiency against preventing the COVID virus. The trial, with a whopping 43,538 participants, has given scientists reasons to believe that there are no safety concerns at all, with the subjects coming out relatively healthy. A discussion with the FDA is now giving the Pfizer the opportunity to conduct a first interim analysis with 62 COVID cases. 

There are some complications since this vaccine has to be stored and administered in extremely cold temperatures, going down to -70 degrees celsius. This is a difficult feat since due to the mass number of products these companies have to store, it’s almost impossible to find adequate storage space. Warmer countries such as India are suffering, especially since there is no designated storage space throughout the country to administer the vaccine to all. The scientists, however, have a sunny attitude surrounding the matter, believing that this could be the breakthrough. Dr. Albert Bourla, chairman and CEO of the Pfizer company has released a statement saying, “The first set of results from our Phase 3 COVID-19 vaccine trial provides the initial evidence of our vaccine’s ability to prevent COVID-19”

The first set of results from our Phase 3 COVID-19 vaccine trial provides the initial evidence of our vaccine’s ability to prevent COVID-19”

— Dr. Albert Bourla

If this vaccine was to be successful, it would first be administered to front-line and health care workers.This is justifiable since those are the individuals who are risking their lives as they directly deal with corona infected patients. Surprisingly, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip are receiving the vaccine later this week, becoming one of the UK’s first to do so.

How you can contribute

It is important to remember to wear a mask and practice safe social distancing as everyone awaits the release of this possible vaccine. Actively contributing to the rising number of cases, especially around the holidays, will only slow the disease eradication process down. Staying mindful, especially for high-risk individuals, is extremely important as the world waits for a possible prevention with bated breath.