The different COVID-19 Vaccines

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The coronavirus has been around for a little over a year, and the doctors of the world draw closer to finding a solution, a way to bring an end to the pandemic. By now, the amount of people at least partially vaccinated has gone over 9,800,000 in the United States alone. This number actually sounds a lot more impressive than it is, as California alone has over forty million inhabitants. Together, the states have more than 331 million people, meaning that only roughly three percent of people have gotten vaccinated.

Perhaps the biggest deterrent that people have stumbled upon are the side effects of the injection. It is not uncommon to experience a mild fever, headache, nausea, pain, or other negative immune responses. While the death toll stands low at only 00.005%, some might consider it too much of a risk, especially with the various exaggerated rumors that can be found on the internet. 

In short, there are three companies that have invented an approved vaccine: Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, and finally Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen. The vaccines work by helping the body develop an autoimmune defense, with all three of the different methods getting an identical result of leaving a memory trace for the body. This way, the body knows exactly what to do when the real thing comes along, fighting it off quickly and efficiently. Interestingly, one can still catch the disease a few days after they have been vaccinated since the protection given by the shot only manifests after a couple of weeks. 

There are three different vaccine types that have been approved for this pandemic. These are the mRNA, Protein subunit, and Vector vaccinations. The mRNA works by injecting virus material that teaches our own cells how to make a harmless protein. The body will recognize that these proteins do not belong, and will develop T-lymphocytes and B-lymphocytes to fight the virus, which will be remembered in the future should the disease ever decide to latch onto oneself. 

Protein Subunit Vaccines have harmless pieces, or proteins, from the coronavirus rather than the whole germ. The human body will realize that these do not belong and create T-lymphocytes and antibodies to get rid of the disease. These resistances will reappear should one ever catch the virus. 

Lastly, Vector Vaccines have an altered version of the COVID-19 germ. Within the shell rests material from the actual coronavirus, called a viral vector, which gives cells directions for the creation of a protein unique to COVID-19. The body will make T-lymphocytes and B-lymphocytes to get rid of them, and will be able to re-perform this defense in future scenarios.

 Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech require two injections, while Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen only needs a single one to work. For now, those who have been vaccinated are still required to take precautions, though hopefully most of these restrictions will let up soon. Adults ages sixteen and up are highly recommended to get their vaccines. Together, the people of the United States have a chance to overcome this disease. For more information, visit www.cdc.gov.