This author loves to research and write about traditional cultures.
Covid-19 vaccine being administered
In 2020 the world woke up to a deadly pandemic that ravaged every country. By the end of the year, over 3 million people have died with 20 million infected. Early stages of the virus started in Wuhan China, December, 2019 and gradually spread to every nation. America was the worst hit with 1.5 million deaths and highest number of infections. Luckily towards the end of 2020 news emerged of several vaccines from research institutes and pharmaceutical giants.
What exactly is Covid-19?
Covid-19 is caused by the SARS-GV-2-a, new single stranded RNA virus. Highly contagious it spreads through infected droplets and affects a person’s respiratory system. Mode of transmission is through coughing, sneezing or contact with infected surfaces. Preventive measures include social distancing, avoidance of physical contact, and handshakes. Facemasks were introduced to cover the mouth and nose in public places. Other measured introduced by government are self isolation for 14 days, quarantine, testing and washing of hands.
Image of Covid-19
How vaccines work
The human body defends against pathogens which are disease causing organisms. The body by design is equipped with natural defenses. Our body’s natural defenses start with our immune system others are mucus, skin and cilia. The natural defenses include antibodies which are in response to antigen in the body. An infected person’s immune system determines the type of antigen needed to stop the disease. Therefore antibodies are formed in response to certain antigen by producing memory cells that respond and potect the body.
Here is how vaccines work.
There are two types of vaccines, those made from inactive or weakened antigen or those that contain blueprint from particular antigen. Vaccines that contain inactive or weakened antigen trigger an immune response to fight the disease.
Dosage off vaccines
Some vaccines require multiple doses while others are single dose vaccines. The multiple dose ones are usually within few weeks or months. Multiple dose vaccines allow long-lived antibodies develop good memory cells. This way the body is trained to fight specific disease causing organisms.
What is herd immunity?
Herd immunity is a process whereby people with underling conditions or with weak immunity is protected when the majority of the population is vaccinated. This works because once mass vaccination is administered the likelihood of someone with such underlining conditions meeting an infected person is drastically reduced.
How vaccines are developed
Vaccines generally contain inactive or weakened antigen or snippets of the virus. Ingredients in vaccines are small bit of disease causing organisms or the blueprint method. Therefore each component of a vaccine has a specific purpose.
Components of a vaccine
Components of a vaccine are antigens, preservatives, and stabilizer. Others include surfactant, residuals, diluents and adjutants.
- An antigen is a small part of the disease causing organism.
- Preservatives prevent contamination once the vaccine vial is opened
- Stabilizers prevent chemical reactions. Types of stabilizers are found in amino acids, sugars and protein.
- Surfactants are used to keep ingredients blended together
- Residuals are found as traces of substances in the vaccine
- Diluents are liquid used to dilute a vaccine
- Adjutant improves immune system response
Development stages of vaccines
Development stages of vaccines before approval for use are tasking. They go through extensive testing, screening, scientific evaluations. Each stage of development has data backing, the scientists determine antigen used in the production process. Phase 1 trials make use of small number of volunteers, phase 2, several hundred volunteers, and phase 3, thousands of volunteers.
List of covid-19 vaccines
There are several covid-19 vaccines approved for emergency use. Some are still at phase 3 trials, while one is under continuous review. Four vaccines are currently approved for emergency use. We have the AstraZeneca/Oxford covid-19 vaccine, Oxford-AstraZeneca, Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech covid-19 vaccine.
Vaccines approved for emergency use
|types of vaccines||manufacturers||efficacy|
AstraZeneca/Oxford covid-19 vaccine
65% to 90%
Pfizer-BioNTech covid-19 vaccine.
Pfizer and BioNTech
8 Types of Covid-19 Vaccines
1. AstraZeneca/Oxford covid-19 vaccine
AstraZeneca/Oxford covid-19 vaccine has two versions. This vaccine is viral vectored vaccine called ChAdOXI-S. Its efficacy is 63.0% and approved for emergency use listing. The EUL pathway involves rigorous assessment and approval. The vaccine is perfect for low to middle income countries.
Oxford-AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine
Oxford-AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine was developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca. The vaccine has 90% efficacy and requires two shots, one month apart. Administration is through the intra muscular arm shot.
2. Pfizer-BioNtech covid-19 vaccine
Pfizer-BioNtech covid-19 vaccine’s name is BNT162b2 and manufactured by Pfizer incorporated and BioNTech. The type of vaccine is mRNA and administration is two shots in the muscle of the arm. It does not contain eggs, preservatives and latex. Age group to receive the vaccine are people 16 years and older.
3. Moderna covid-19 vaccines
Moderna covid-19 vaccines name is mRNA-1273 and manufactured by ModernaTx incorporated. Type of vaccine is mRNA and administration is two shots in muscle of the arm. It is perfect for people 18 years and above with efficacy of 94.1%. Side effects are chills, tiredness, headache, pain, and swelling. Demographic information of clinical trials are 79.4% white, 20% Latin/Hispanic, 9.79% African American, 4% Asian, 3% others.
Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccines
The Sputnik V vaccine was developed in Russia, not yet approved the vaccine is under continuous review and emergency use (6 months). The vaccine is already in use in Russia, Bosnia-Herzegovinian and Serbia. Efficacy according to the Russian's is 91%.
Vaccines in phase 3 clinical trials
There are three vaccines in phase 3 clinical trials. They are Janssen’s covid-19 vaccine, Novavax covid-19 and AstraZeeca.
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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
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Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on February 23, 2021:
Thanks for the information. We must learn all we can about these vaccines, their benefits and their side effects.
femi (author) from Nigeria on February 23, 2021:
Yes l agree, the world was in a strange place, so the scientist had to double their efforts. Don't forget how much they are going to make, even if the vaccines are sold at a discounted price.
Liz Westwood from UK on February 23, 2021:
It is amazing how quickly these vaccines have been developed. They are making good progress against COVID-19.