by Jahari Henry, Staff Writer
14.8 million cases and 282k deaths. These are the staggering numbers that have only grown as a once in a lifetime pandemic rages the country and the world. However, through all the deaths, all the shuttered business, all the hungry bellies, and all the social turmoil there seems to be a glimmering light at the end of the tunnel. A vaccine is on its way.
On November 9th 2020, Pharmaceutical Company Pfizer announced that they had developed a Coronavirus Vaccine with 95% efficacy. This announcement sent shock waves throughout the country and the world signaling a beginning of the end of the pandemic. Quickly after Pfizer’s announcement other corporations and institutions in the race to develop the vaccine announced their vaccine candidates. Below are the two leading American vaccines and a little information behind them and their status.
Official Name - BNT162b2
Pfizer’s Vaccine is approved for emergency use in certain countries. The United Kingdom approved the vaccine for emergency use on December 2nd. As of right now Pfizer is still waiting for emergency approval from the FDA and they applied for emergency approval in India on December 7th. Canada is the only country that has granted the Pfizer Vaccine full approval, accomplishing this on December 9th.
Official Vaccine- mRNA-1273
Efficacy - 94.5%
The current status of Moderna’s Vaccine is pending emergency approval from the U.S. FDA. Moderna has also made deals with the governments of Canada, Japan, Qatar, and the European Union to provide them with 160 million doses upon approval.The United States had made a similar deal with Moderna awarding them 1.5 billion dollars for 100 million doses of the vaccine.
It should be noted that the countries of China and Russia have also approved their own companies' vaccines, but they were not mentioned due to the lack of knowledge that the international community has of their development and efficacy.
One question does remain when these vaccines are granted emergency approval. “ Who gets the vaccine first ?” According to the Center for Disease Control “When FDA first authorizes or approves the use of one or more COVID-19 vaccines in the United States, there may be a limited supply.” It is for this reason that when the United States is in the early stages of distributing the vaccine those who are most vulnerable will be first to receive the vaccine. The groups of people that the CDC recommended to revive the vaccine first were “Healthcare personnel, Workers in essential and critical industries, people at high risk due to underlying medical conditions and people 65 years and older. From there if supply of the vaccine remains consistent everybody else would be supplied.
After all the turmoil and chaos that has plagued a worse than bad year, it is a genuine pleasure that such good news has come out of the world of science. Let’s all hope that 2021 brings good health to millions and calm to the world.