COVID Vaccination Updates

Nikitha Srinivasan

President Biden told reporters about 90% of adults in the U.S. will be eligible for Covid-19 vaccinations by April 19 (April 15 for California) and will be eligible to even get them within five miles from their homes. According to Our World in Data, As of April 11th, there are 70.7 million Americans who are fully vaccinated and a total of 183 million doses have been given out. In other words, 21.5% of the population is vaccinated. In just California, 22.8 million doses have been administered and 21.1% of the population is vaccinated.  Three covid vaccines have been authorized use from the companies Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson. As of April 19th, the public (above the age of 16) can go get the vaccine. 

Moderna vaccines use mRNA technology, also known as messenger RNA. When cells are injected with messenger RNA, they are given directions on how to produce a non-infectious piece of the virus’s spike protein. Whenever the immune system recognizes clones of the spike protein, antibodies are made. When your body remembers how to cause an immune response, it will produce antibodies to combat the Covid-19 if it is attacked again. Two doses are needed, the second dose is needed 28 days after the first dose. The vaccine is more effective on the United Kingdom mutation compared to South Africa. The company is working on a vaccine booster and is planning to release it in the spring to combat the UK and South Africa variants of COVID-19. It was found that the vaccine is 80.2% effective after a month and 95.6% effective after 2 months.

The Pfizer vaccine is an mRNA vaccine similar to the Moderna vaccine. There are 2 doses, the second shot is taken 21 days after the first dose. This vaccine is made in the United States and Europe. Pfizer vaccine is 52% effective after the first dose and 95% effective after the second dose against Covid-19 and the Covid-19 mutations found in both South Africa and the United Kingdom. 

Johnson and Johnson use an adenovirus, which uses a live virus (not COVID-19) to give instructions to cells to produce Covid-19 spike proteins, leading to an antibody response. This vaccine only requires one dose. The vaccine was 66% effective against Covid-19, although it had an 85% effectiveness at preventing hospitalization. It also only has a 57% effectiveness against mutations of Covid-19. According to the CDC(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), it will take 14 days to build immunity. The Johnson and Johnson vaccine has been rumored to have fewer side effects than the Pfizer vaccine and Moderna Vaccine. On April 13, CBC News said 7 people had severe blood clotting after receiving the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. They have temporarily paused giving out the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. The chances of having severe blood clotting are severely low, less than 1 in a million.

In conclusion, if you are 16 or older, it is a good idea to get your vaccination. All three vaccines do not contain the virus so it is impossible to get the virus from the vaccination. The side effects usually show after a few days with all vaccination. These side effects include pain, redness, swelling of the area injected, headache, muscle pain, fever, nausea, and tiredness. As we start to reopen our community, it is important to be vaccinated so we can stop the spread of the virus. At the end of the day, the small side effects are much better than the virus itself.

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