By Ariel Williams
Photo by: NIAID
The Covid Vaccine was just recently released on December 12, 2020, so it’s fairly new. So far, at least 5.9 million people in the United States have gotten the vaccine. As of right now high-risk people such as nurses, doctors, and older people are getting the vaccine first. There are two different types of vaccines, Pfizer and Moderna, which are made by two different companies. The vaccines use mRNA, which works in the cell to help create an antibody response to Covid-19. Antibodies will help your body in advance against the disease. The Covid- 19 vaccine was created in less than one year, usually, vaccines take years or decades to develop. Researchers had experience with a virus vaccine with the SARS outbreak in 2003, the outbreak was contained and there hasn’t been an outbreak since so the vaccine has not been needed. The Covid vaccine is similar to the SARS vaccine because they both use a spike protein.
There was financial support for developing the Covid vaccine, which is another reason why the vaccine was developed so quickly. For vaccines to be helpful you have to have herd immunity, that is when a large enough number of people are immune to a virus so the virus can no longer spread easily from person to person. Experts estimate that it will take 70 percent to 90 percent of the population to reach herd immunity.
Experts don’t know yet how long the immunity from the vaccine will last. This means that we may still have to social distance and wear masks to make sure that we are still being safe, even once some of us have the vaccine.