Over the past year, the pandemic has felt out of your control. Ever since it hit the world, global organizations have been busy developing means to put an end to it. While the World Health Organization was quick to suggest and amplify the need for social distancing and lockdowns, it has similarly stressed the need for implementing vaccines to achieve herd immunity and reduce the spread of COVID-19.
To this effect, scientists, world-over have now devised vaccinations to fight the virus. The rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination heralds what hopefully is the beginning of the end of a frightful pandemic that has ravaged much of the world’s economic and physical health. Getting vaccinated as soon as one is available could improve the financial outlook and lets you play your part in slowing the spread of the virus.
Humans have been subject to pandemics for centuries, and in the last 100 years or so, vaccines have helped control, or in some cases, get rid of the pathogens that make you ill.
Vaccines give your body a sneak peek of one or more key features of a virus before the actual virus barges in. Think of a vaccine as a tool that kicks your immune system into gear and warns it to get ready for an invader.
A COVID-19 vaccine will:
With the pandemic surging in full swing, international regulatory authorizations have granted authorization for the immediate manufacture of 13 COVID-19 vaccinations across the world. These include dosed manufactured by Oxford -AstraZeneca, Pfizer- BioNtech, Sputnik V, Sinopharm – BBIBP, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, CoronaVac, Covaxin, Convidecia, EpiVacCorona, RBD-Dimer, Sinopharm – WIBP, and CoviVac.
Here’s an overview of the approved vaccines that are currently in use around the world:
1. Comirnaty (BNT162b2): The mRNA-based vaccine is in use across countries and is currently produced by Pfizer, BioNTech, and Fosun Pharma.
2. Moderna COVID-19 vaccine: With its origin in the US, Moderna is one of the most trusted vaccinations at present. It’s primarily manufactured by Moderna, BARDA, and NAID.
3. Vaxzevria or Covishield: Produced by AstraZeneca, this is an adenovirus vaccine developed by BARDA and OWS. It finds its origin in the United Kingdom.
4. Sputnik V: The Russian vaccine is a recombinant adenovirus dose. It’s produced by the Gamaleya Research Institute, Moscow, Russia.
5. COVID-19 Vaccine Janssen (JNJ-78436735; Ad26.COV2.S): Originating from the Netherlands and the US, the Janssen vaccine by Johnson & Johnson is a non-replicating viral vector type currently in use across countries.
6. CoronaVac: This inactivated vaccine from China is currently produced by Sinovac and is in use across Asian countries as well as Europe.
7. BBIBP – CorV: Another inactivated vaccine from China, BBIBP-CorV, is produced by the Beijing Institute of Biological Products and the China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm).
8. EpiVacCorona: The Russian vaccine is a peptide vaccine variant currently manufactured by the Federal Budgetary Research Institution State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology. It’s administered in Belarus, Russia, and Turkmenistan presently.
9. Convidicea (Ad5-nCoV): The Recombinant vaccine (adenovirus type 5 vector) originates from China and is presently in use within Chile, China, Hungary, Mexico, and Pakistan.
10. Covaxin: Produced within India, Covaxin is an inactivated vaccine variant produced by Bharat Biotech, ICMR. It’s currently in use in India and adjoining nations such as Myanmar and Nepal.
11. WIBP-CorV: Produced by the Wuhan Institute of Biological Products and China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm), the vaccine is in use within China.
12. CoviVac: The Inactivated vaccine originates from Russia and is administered on a small scale in Russia.
13. ZF2001: A Recombinant vaccine type, the ZF2001 is currently used in China and Uzbekistan on a small scale.
On the national level, the COVID vaccines that are currently in use as of May 2021 in India include Covaxin, Covishield, and lately Russia’s Sputnik V.
With nationwide vaccination, you can achieve herd immunity and effectively curb the spread of the virus. While there is no word on how and when you can nip COVID-19 in the bud, vaccination remains the only hope for nations across the globe to function normally in the pandemic’s wake.
As remarked by health care experts, vaccines will help nations reduce the mortality rate and lower the number of cases. Throwing light on this, infectologist and national coordinator on covid-19 studies of the World Health Organization, Carlos Álvarez, said, “Vaccines not only protect me and protect the community; the more people are vaccinated, the more quickly we reach herd immunity. That means, vaccinating 70% of the population is nothing other than the possibility of that person not having anyone else to infect, which is why vaccination is essential, and immunization will always be the most effective way."
Commenting on the public benefit of vaccination, Michael Saag, M.D., professor of medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Division of Infectious Diseases, similarly stated, “This is how we end the pandemic. Once this (vaccination) is done, we can have a normal society again. We can enjoy daily life, family events, work, and school without distancing, without masks, and without fear. We will once again enjoy regular shopping trips and dining out, and family vacations without constant worry about the consequences. We can have real holiday activities instead of virtual ones. It's very simple: We will get our lives back.”
Simply put, without the vaccination, you can expect roughly 1% of the population to contract the virus, whereas, with the vaccine, this reduces the rate to 0.05%. A vaccinated nation is the only hope to evade mass mortality, achieve normalcy faster, and do away with the need for permanent restrictions. Here’s to hoping the worst is behind you and you’re looking at a bright, new future ahead!