New Vaccines Bring Hope to World
By Brayden Yin
On December 1, The UK became the very first western country to receive approval for a COVID-19 vaccine. The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency announced that they would be distributing 800,000 doses of Pfizer’s vaccine to over fifty British hospitals. The first people to receive the vaccine will be the ones who are most vulnerable to the virus, like healthcare workers and the old.
The BNT162b2 vaccine is a vaccine produced by Pfizer and BioNTech is one of the two COVID-19 inoculations that have over 90% efficiency. The other one, called mRNA-1273, was made by the American company Moderna Therapeutics.
These vaccines differ from traditional ones, because they use a synthetic messenger ribonucleic acid, also known as mRNA. mRNA contains information about the coronavirus. When somebody receives the vaccine, the mRNA gives the immune system a preview of the coronavirus so the immune system can fight against the virus.
However, the vaccine is pricey to deploy, at $15 to $25 per dose, and people need to take two doses to obtain full immunity.
Also, Pfizer’s vaccine needs to be kept at a temperature of -94 Fahrenheit, and only survives for five days in a standard refrigerator. AstraZeneca’s vaccine will be easier to deploy, as it can be stored in a normal refrigerator for up to six months, but more importantly, has over 90% efficiency at a low price of $3-$5.
With many people working on the vaccine for COVID-19, the threat can soon be eliminated.