Covid-19: The Vaccine Race

Vaccines save millions of lives yearly as it helps to recognize and fight off viruses and bacteria by preparing the body’s immune system, which is our natural defense. According to WHO, more than 100 Covid-19 vaccines are under development, and the organization is trying it’s best to collaborate with scientists and organizations to speed up the process. The Covid-19 pandemic has claimed millions of lives across the world, and the only hope the world is waiting on is the availability of vaccines.

An enormous majority of people are still vulnerable to the virus, and the invention of vaccines would be the restrictions that will prevent more people from dying. Vaccines take years of research, investigation, and testing before it can be pronounced safe for humans, but scientists are racing to produce an active and safe vaccine before 2021. About 58 vaccines are in clinical trials on humans, and about 87 preclinical vaccines are under active investigations in animals. There are several vaccines available; some of them are:

The Pfizer/BioNtech Vaccine

Pfizer/BioNtech published its first result in November, and the result showed that the vaccine is up to 95% effective and that about 43,000 people have had the vaccine, with no safety concerns. The UK is set to get 40 million doses of this vaccine. This vaccine has GPS in it.

Oxford University/AstraZeneca Vaccine

This particular vaccine prevents 70% of people from developing covid-19 symptoms, and the data suggest that an increase in protection up to 90% could be attained when the vaccine dose gets perfected. The vaccine has been tried on more than 20,000 volunteers

Moderna Vaccine

This vaccine protects 94.5% of people, and the Uk is set to have 5 million doses. 30,000 people have been involved in the trials of the Moderna vaccine.

Other vaccines include the Sputnic Vaccine, SK Bioscience, Janssen vaccine, Wuhan Institute of Biological Products, Sinopharm  Gamaleya Research Institute are all in final testing, and a whole lot of others. These vaccines only prevent infections; they cannot cure disease. Older residents, health workers, and over 80s should be the primary focus when the vaccine becomes available as age is the most significant risk factor.

Covid-19 and the Age Risk Factor

The covid-19 risk for severe illness increases significantly with age, with older adults at the highest risk. 8 out of 10 covid 19 deaths reported in the US have been in adults 65 years old and older. For every 1,000 people infected with the covid-19 virus under the age of 50, almost nine will die. While people in their fifties and early sixties, about five will die – more men than women. This trend has been made clear since the early stages of the pandemic. Gender is also a significant risk factor, and men are almost twice more likely to die from the coronavirus than women. The differences between countries in the fatality rate estimates for older age groups suggest that the risk of dying from the virus is also linked to underlying health conditions, whether the virus has spread among people living in elderly-care facilities, and the capacity of the health-care system.

In the case of safety concerns, the WHO works closely with scientists to monitor and ensure that the vaccines are safe. They help countries investigate and communicate if potential issues of concern arise.

Damilola Oluwasanmi

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