Covid-19 Vaccine Progress
Recently, there has been a boom in vaccine talk for the Coronavirus. There was talk of vaccines nearing completion, many saying that they are 95% effective.
Currently, there are three vaccines. As stated by CBS news in their very recent article “COVID-19 vaccine breakthrough: what happens now,” the Pfizer Bio-Tech vaccine was tested on 44,000 patients, and has shown to be 95% effective. Bill Gruber, head of vaccine development and Pfizer, stated while on a Zoom call with coworkers that the moment they heard about how well the vaccine had performed was “ an extraordinary, extraordinary moment…They (coworkers) got tears in their eyes.” This was one of the biggest hurdles jumped with the making of the vaccine; however, another hurdle that will have to come is the shipping of the vaccine due to the temperature the vaccine must be held at. The vaccines must be held at -70 degrees Celsius (or -94 degrees Fahrenheit). Thomas Tighe, CEO of Direct Relief, a non-profit company dedicated to shipping medication of health centers and free clinics, described the difficulties of shipping out medications that are meant to be kept at a certain temperature. During the interview he explains the progress like, “If you buy ice cream, you’re receiving food through a cold chain. It’s manufactured, it’s kept cold ’til it gets to the distribution center of your grocery store, where you are the picker and packer. You are your own last mile.” Not only is the making of and the shipping of the vaccine, but also getting enough quantity to heal all patients.
After the FDA approves of the vaccine and it is possible to ship, there must be enough doses to help everyone across the world. CBS also said major shipping companies like Fedex and UPS have started installing “freezer farms in anticipation of having to ship larger quantities of Covid-19 vaccines.” Shipping will definitely be difficult for both the shipping companies and the vaccine distributors but on top of these, many don’t understand what will happen the vaccine means nothing will change socially. People will have to wear masks and social distance until infection numbers decrease to a safe level. Many might believe that once you are given the vaccine, you are free to go back to how things were in early 2020 and late 2019, but that is not the case at all. If one looks at CBS’s article, an interview with a member of the President-Elect Biden advisory committee on coronavirus, Dr.Celine Gounder, states that there is still the potential for trouble.““People are afraid about side effects,” Gounder replied. “They’re afraid that they might get sick. I’ve even heard theories that people think this is a vaccine for mind control.” Citizens are skeptical and worried about long term effects, and think that the rush for emergency authorization of a vaccine could be hurtful in later years. Obviously, this is unknown and many are nervous about this, but those who are more likely to contract Covid, many argue, should be given the vaccine.
Vaccines are very close to being released to the public. Manufacturers need to start making enough doses, shipping to hospitals and health centers, and distributing the vaccine. These steps and some more time will decrease the number of Covid cases we see and our lives may continue to be what it used to be.