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Science & Technology

COVID-19 Vaccine: Ever-Changing

By Matteo Somma

Volume 1 Issue 6

March 18, 2021

COVID-19 Vaccine: Ever-Changing

Image provided by NY.GOV

As many know, the COVID-19 vaccine has been available to the public for quite some time.  Starting in late November/early December, two companies rolled out their vaccine: Pfizer and Moderna. To this day they are the leading vaccine manufacturers and distributors.

Both brands of vaccine require two doses, with Pfizer’s being 21 days apart and Moderna’s 28 days apart.  Both vaccines also hover around a 95% effectivity rate so far, and no major immediate reactions to the vaccine have been reported. Currently, front-line workers, residents over the age of 65, and essential workers, like teachers, have been prioritized in the distribution of the vaccine.  At this time, there have been no trials on minors under 18 years old.

Many people believe if you receive the COVID-19 vaccine, you will be immune to the virus.  That is not entirely accurate; the vaccine only reduces the effects of the virus. You will also still have to wear a mask and socially distance in public after receiving the vaccine. However, the CDC recently released guidelines indicating that people who are vaccinated can remain indoors without social distancing under specific limitations.

Despite popular belief, the COVID-19 vaccine is not a dead or weakened strain like other vaccines in the past, instead, mRNA can be found inside the vaccine.  mRNA is a messenger RNA, and RNA is smaller strands of polymers.  What the mRNA does is it leaves a set of instructions for the immune cells to make the antigens that are needed to fight the virus.

The COVID-19 vaccine is still ever-changing with new technologies being discovered every day.  Some companies are working on a one-time dose of the vaccine that mutates with the COVID-19 virus, while other companies are injecting tiny lipid nanoparticles into the bloodstream to act as artificial antigens for the virus.  Ground-breaking scientific discoveries are being made every day. Now, while we don’t know if any of these will work, what is for certain is that we will get through this together if we continue to stay safe.

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