New Progress on COVID Vaccines

Progress is being made to create and distribute vaccines to ensure that herd immunity is created.

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Kendrick Choi, Managing Web Editor

It has been almost a year since the COVID-19 pandemic first caused the world to shut down. Now, scientists are making progress to create and distribute vaccines to ensure that herd immunity is created. The goal is that everyone can return to a sense of normality. This global effort yielded a total of 67 vaccines with only two that have been approved for full use. Another eight have been in limited or early use. Most of the rest are being tested for safety and dosage amount, expanded in safety trials, or in large-scale efficacy tests.

The CDC has already allowed the mass distribution and production of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine and Moderna’s COVID-19 Vaccine. Both are mRNA vaccines and provide temporary immunity, as they don’t become a permanent part of your body’s immune system. The Pfizer vaccine has seen a 95% effectiveness rate while Moderna’s had a 94%.

Meanwhile, the CDC is running clinical trials on AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine, Janssen’s COVID-19 vaccine, and Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccine. Around 55 million doses of the vaccines have been distributed. Of those, 34 million have been administered to healthcare workers and high-risk groups, according to the CDC.

Pharmaceutical company Johnson and Johnson created a new and unique vaccine. Instead of an mRNA vaccine, it is a recombinant vector vaccine, meaning it is a genetically engineered version of the common cold. However, it does have seemingly less effectiveness rate according to clinical trials, yielding a 85% effectiveness in preventing severe disease. The positive part of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine is its inexpensiveness, but more important, its single dose. The company expects to distribute around 100 million doses to the US in the first half of 2021.