With the introduction of vaccines, it seems there is now a ray of light at the end of the tunnel and we can deal more effectively with Covid-19.
This is a sign that we are gradually getting out of this pandemic but there are important things to know about the vaccines and we will explain everything you need to know about the vaccine in this article.
What is the current vaccine campaign situation?
To bring an end to Covid-19 a large percentage of the world needs to be immune to the virus and the best, and safest way to achieve this is through vaccines to reach the herd immunity.
After more than a year of pandemic, several research teams rose to the challenge and developed vaccines that protect people from SARS-CoV-2, which is the virus that causes Covid-19. The Covid-19 vaccine distribution started in the United States in December 2020, and as of end of April 2021, more than 230 million doses have been administered, the CDC reports. 95.8 million Americans have been fully vaccinated and that’s about 28.9% of the U.S. population.
More than 1 billion doses of vaccine have been administered worldwide and while this number seems enormous, there is already a wide disparity between countries. Some countries are yet to report a single dose. Israel, with more than 60% of the population that received at least one done, is the country with the largest number of vaccinated, as of end of April.
While there is the challenge of limited supplies, the demand for the vaccines is way more than what is available, due to the fact the pandemic is global. Indeed, even disposable syringes are now in high demand.
Note that, The Kare Lab manufactures various types of syringes available in bulk, including:
- Auto-disable syringes with safety needle.
- Auto-disable syringes without safety needle.
- Auto retractable syringes with safety needle.
Vaccines are made under strict rules and conditions that must be followed to the letter, and only few laboratories have succeeded in finding “the right recipe”.
Today, underdeveloped countries have no access to vaccines at the moment as they have to rely on more developed countries to produce and then supply them. From the statistics presented, it is obvious that even the developed countries are yet to achieve full vaccination of their population, and therefore, the pandemic might still be on for some time.
What are the main vaccines available?
This vaccine is an mRNA vaccine, and it is usually shot in the muscle of the upper arm. It entails two shots that should be administered 21 days apart. It is recommended for people who are 16 years and above.
There are categories of people who should not get this vaccine. They include:
- Those who have had a severe allergic reaction or an immediate allergic reaction to any ingredient in the mRNA vaccine.
- Also, those who have had an allergic reaction to the first dose of the vaccine shouldn’t be given the second dose.
It is important to note that if you are not able to get this vaccine, you can get some other types of vaccine.
Possible side effects of the vaccine:
- Pain, redness, or swelling in the arm where you receive the vaccine
- Muscle Pain
This is also an mRNA vaccine, and it entails two shots which should be taken 28 days apart.
It is shot in the muscle of the upper arm. The vaccine is recommended for people who are 18 years and above.
Categories of people who should not get this vaccine include:
- People who have had a severe allergic reaction or an immediate allergic reaction to any ingredient in an mRNA vaccine.
- People who have had an allergic reaction after taking the first dose.
The side effects that apply to the Pfizer vaccine apply to this vaccine.
Johnson and Johnson’s
The CDC and FDA have recommended the use of this vaccine.
However, it is important to note that women younger than 50 years stand a rare risk of formation of blood clots after vaccination. This vaccine is a viral vector vaccine. It requires just one shot which is usually administered through the muscle of the upper arm. It is recommended for people who are 18 years and older.
The side effects that apply to the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines apply to this vaccine.
Vaccines available in China
China seems to have made giant strides as regards vaccination.
Sinovac and Sinopharm are the most prominent vaccines and they are going beyond the shores of China.
The Sinovac vaccine works by using killed viral particles to sensitize the immune system of the body without risking a critical response to the disease.
The efficacy of the Sinopharm vaccine is still under close observation but WHO recently declared that both Chinese vaccines meet there requirements.
A major difference between the vaccines used in the United States and those used in China is the method of development:
- The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are mRNA vaccines and they work by injecting part of the genetic code of the virus into the body such that the body starts to make viral proteins. These viral proteins help train the immune system to respond adequately to the virus.
- Chinese vaccines user traditional approach that involves injecting killed viral particles, not a part of the genetic code, to stimulate immune response. This method has proven to be successful in making many popular vaccines such as the rabies vaccine but recent studies show that they have lower effective rate than the mRNA.
However, Sinovac vaccine is easier to store, and therefore, to deliver, as it requires a temperature of 2-8°C, while Moderna and Pfizer vaccines require lower temperatures of -20°C and – 70°C respectively, which is harder to achieve when it comes to deliver worldwide.
What are the differences between conventional and RNA Vaccines?
Conventional vaccines are usually made from viruses grown in mammalian or chicken eggs, and there are RNA vaccines that are made from a DNA template in a lab. RNA vaccines are more advanced types of vaccines and here are some of the major differences:
- Biosafety: Conventional vaccines entail growing large quantities of viruses to make vaccines and this is potentially hazardous. On the other hand, a batch of RNA vaccine does not require a virus.
- Flexibility: RNA vaccines are easily adaptable to different pathogens. Conventional vaccines, on the other hand, are not.
- The time required to make conventional vaccines is much longer compared to what applies to RNA vaccines.
However, while conventional vaccines have been used for years, RNA are new, and therefore, we lack of history.
What are the differences between the Covid-19 vaccine types?
- Messenger RNA Vaccine: This vaccine makes use of genetically engineered mRNA to instruct body cells to produce harmless pieces of the protein found on the Covid-19's virus surface. After you have been vaccinated, your immune system starts to produce this protein which in turn equips the body to fight Covid-19 if you are infected.
- Protein subunit vaccine: Subunit vaccines only entail the portions of a virus that best stimulate your immune system.
- Vector vaccine: This vaccine is made by inserting genetic material from the Covid-19 virus into another kind of weakened live virus. The weakened virus then serves as a source of genetic materials from the Covid-19 virus which instructs the body cells to make copies of the S protein. Once S proteins are made on cell surfaces, antibodies are created to fight the virus if you are infected.
Vaccines seem to be the way out of the covid-19 pandemic. The more they are produced and administered, the more the chances of eradicating the virus increase. So, we should embrace the vaccines and get vaccinated, so we can totally eliminate this virus, and return to life as we knew it.