US Covid-19 Vaccination Rollout Under The Microscope

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US Covid-19 Vaccination Rollout Under The Microscope
Global pandemic & the Covid-19 vaccine

US Covid-19 Vaccination Rollout Under The Microscope

Global pandemics can impact every aspect of daily life, as we’ve seen with Covid-19. Viral infections can rapidly spread across the world leaving a trail of devastation, mortality, and economic destruction in its wake. Thankfully, scientific research, development, and medical trials have enabled us to create effective vaccinations against a number of diseases and viral infections, and start to combat Covid-19.

The Power Of Vaccinations

 

From as early as 1796, scientists have been able to create vaccinations against deadly infections. (1) Starting with Edward Jenner’s first smallpox vaccination, to the inactivated poliovirus vaccine, which has been given to children across the US since 2000. (2) If we look back to the Ebola outbreak in 2014, a safe vaccination was found to provide protection against the species Zaire ebolavirus, but only rolled out in 2020, after years of research. (3)

 

 

Yet, we now have not one, but seven different Covid-19 vaccinations currently being rolled out across the globe to combat the current global pandemic. By working together, scientists worldwide have been able to speed up testing, manufacturing, and the administration of the new game-changing vaccinations. (4) Due to the current global pandemic, the process to discover, create and mass produce life-saving vaccinations has received unprecedented financial investment and scientific collaboration. This has made it possible to maintain strict clinical and safety standards, whilst rapidly speeding up the development process. (5)

Global pandemic & the Covid-19 vaccine

Different Covid-19 Vaccinations Available

According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention CDC, there are three vaccines authorized and recommended to prevent Covid-19.

1: Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19

2: Moderna Covid-19 vaccine

3: Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Covid-19 vaccine

However, there are also ongoing phase 3 clinical trials for two additional vaccinations to be used across the US;

1: AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine

 

2: Novavax Covid-19 vaccine (6)

Global pandemic & the Covid-19 vaccine

How Does It Work Against Viral Infections?

Let’s take a look at how the 3 authorized Covid-19 vaccinations work to protect humans against the current life-threatening viral infection.

1: Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19

Pfizer, working with German biotech company BioNTech, has developed a vaccination using mRNA technology. Unlike a standard vaccine which injects weakened viral cells into the body to help encourage immunity, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccination uses a messenger RNA sequence that contains genetic instructions to tell the person’s own cells to produce the vaccine antigens and generate an immune response. So rather than risk getting sick and being unable to fight off the viral infection, your cells will basically learn how to be immune without being exposed. This is certainly a scientific breakthrough and will transform how we protect ourselves from future outbreaks, epidemics, and global pandemics. (7)

2: Moderna Covid-19 vaccine

The Moderna Covid-19 vaccination is given in two doses. SAGE recommends that the first dose of 0.5ml is given and then a second 28 days after. The interval between doses can be extended to 42 days if required. According to the WHO, this vaccination is 92% effective against Covid-19, starting 14 days after the first dose. (8) The mRNA vaccinations are a new type of vaccine designed to protect us against infectious diseases. They will trigger an immune response, by teaching cells how to make a protein that makes the immune system produce antibodies. (9)

3: Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Covid-19 vaccine

 

With an efficacy rate of up to 72% after a single dose, the Janssen vaccine has been authorized for emergency use across the US. Janssen Pharmaceutica is a Belgium-based division of Johnson & Johnson and is working alongside Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Unlike the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccinations which store genetic instruction using a single-stranded RNA, this vaccine uses a double-stranded DNA. By adding the gene for the coronavirus spike protein to a virus called Adenovirus 26, which typically causes colds and flu symptoms, the injection can provide immunity without causing illness. (10)

Strategy Behind The Vaccination Roll Out

During a global pandemic, protecting the most vulnerable in society is a must, so vaccinating elderly people, anyone with major underlying health conditions, and frontline medical staff will be the main priority. Next comes essential workers such as care home staff, teachers, dentists, and anyone providing an important public service where they are in contact with people on a regular basis. After this, the vaccination will become available to the majority. President Joe Biden aims to have enough Covid vaccination doses for every American adult across the US by the end of May. (11)

References

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