Education, News & Events

Here’s what you need to know about the COVID-19 vaccine

words by: Sahar Khraibani
Nov 28, 2020

We have all been waiting for this moment: a Coronavrius vaccine which promises to end the pandemic and its debilitating effects is right around the corner. But, this doesn’t come without its own set of fallbacks. 


The race to produce a vaccine has been proceeding faster than anyone would have hoped, knowing that these kinds of vaccines normally take years to develop. So far, two candidates have already declared that their trials are close to the finish line. Pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Moderna have announced earlier this month that their vaccines were 95% effective in trials, which is very thrilling news. However, there are still some details that need to be broken down.


Doctors have been in the talks about the potential vaccine and what that means for us. According to some lead experts, the CDC should be more clear about the effects of the COVID vaccine shots, which are rumored to be drastic. This is the time when public health officials should take the lead and inform the public that this vaccine, though it may solve many of our short term problems, may cause rough side effects. States are allegedly preparing to distribute a potentially life-saving vaccination as early as December.


Here’s what you need to know:


Will this vaccine actually work?

I know that it’s hard to believe any good news these days, seeing as bad news travels so much faster, but these vaccines actually work—both of them. One is manufactured by Pfizer in partnership with a German company called BioNTech, and the other is made by Moderna. However, the scary part is that both of these vaccines rely on new technology that’s never been approved for human use before. In scientific terms, these doses use mRNA and genetic material rather than the traditional doses of weakened virus in order to prompt the body to produce the correct virus-fighting antibodies. Now here’s the catch: these vaccines are more complicated to administer. They both require injections of two doses several weeks apart, and they must be kept frozen to work correctly.


When will it be available?

Anthony Fauci claims that vaccination would begin in late December, pending an approval from the FDA (they will require an Emergency Use Authorization).


When will you get a vaccine?

In order to get the first batches of the vaccine, you have to either be a healthcare provider, or a person from a high-risk group. So, if you’re not among these, you’re more likely to get this vaccine by April 2021. It’s a long way to go, but that’s probably for the best. You may want to wait and see the effects of it.


When can you have a life again?

We still have a long long way to go for a post-COVID life. We may be able to get there in late 2021, but that is contingent on many many things. So, in the meantime, do your best to keep your sanity in check and wash your hands!