Hospitals across the country have been grappling with how to distribute the first scarce shots that protect against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
The coronavirus vaccines made by Pfizer and Moderna rely heavily on two fundamental discoveries that emerged from federally funded research.
The vaccine has to be stored at -70 degrees Celsius. Typical freezers don’t get that cold, making distribution of this vaccine a logistical nightmare.
Efficacy is the performance of a treatment under ideal and controlled circumstances, and effectiveness is performance under real-world conditions.
Most officials don’t know how they’ll deal with the difficult storage and transport requirements of Pfizer’s vaccine, especially in hard-hit rural areas.
These early results are what is known as an “interim analysis”. It’s an early look at the data before a study is complete to see if the vaccine might work.
Up to 330 million people will need to be vaccinated.
Biden faces immense pressure to move faster than any other modern president as the pandemic rages and COVID deaths are expected to surge through the winter.
Many have pinned their hopes on a COVID-19 vaccine being developed at “warp speed.” But some scientific experts warn they’re all expecting too much, too soon.
Health officials are concerned that the presence of both viruses could put more people in the hospital and strain Washington’s health care system.
Sceptics aren’t all the same
The way we train our immune systems now to respond to SARS-CoV-2 could impact how well our bodies can respond to future coronaviruses.
Anti-vaccine conspiracy theories and misinformation campaigns have gained traction. The history of these movements help explain why they are often effective.
A vaccine is vital in fighting the virus, but it won’t be a quick pass back to our old lives.
If you look at all the steps needed for a coronavirus vaccine to be scientifically validated and cleared for public use. tt’s a long shot in 38 days.