COVID-19 Vaccine

As we near the end of 2020, COVID-19 is still as relevant as it was in the beginning of the year. With weeks of lockdown and quarantine and months of mask mandates and online schooling, Pfizer and BioNTech announced a few weeks ago that their COVID-19 vaccine.

“Efficacy was consistent across age, gender, race and ethnicity demographics; observed efficacy in adults over 65 years of age was over 94%,” according to the Pfizer website.

Pfizer, founded in 1849 and BioNTech, founded in 2008, collaborated for finding a possible vaccine for COVID-19. “Biopharmaceutical New Technologies is a next generation immunotherapy company pioneering novel therapies for cancer and other serious diseases,” Pfizer said.

The Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine trial included over 43,000 volunteers, there were no alarming safety concerns from taking the vaccine according to Pfizer. 

“Companies plan to submit within days to the FDA for EUA and share data with other regulatory agencies around the globe,” Pfizer said. 

Another company, Moderna, also came out with a similar vaccine to prevent COVID-19.

“Since our founding in 2010, we have worked to build the industry's leading mRNA technology platform, the infrastructure to accelerate drug discovery and early development, a rapidly expanding pipeline, and a world-class team,” the Moderna website said. 

This study, also known as the COVE study, had more than 30,000 U.S. participants. Moderna’s vaccine efficacy is 94.5%, according to Moderna.

In Missouri alone, the daily average of 2,800 COVID-19 cases grew to 4,000 within the last week, according to Clay Goddard, director of health for Springfield-Greene County Health Department.

The numbers in Greene County are reflecting the state’s increase.

“I can definitely say that it is clear to me, we are currently in the teeth of a second wave of COVID-19 in our community,” Goddard said in a press briefing on Wednesday, Nov. 18. “Between Nov. 1 and Nov. 15, we had 2,386 new cases.”

Goddard showed optimism for the new vaccines.

“The news of two vaccines with better than 90% efficacy is so encouraging,” Goddard said. “It’s the light at the end of the tunnel.” 

Goddard said having a negative test while in quarantine is not a “free ticket.” Since the virus can incubate over a two week period, people need to stay isolated for the full two weeks. 

Goddard said by the end of next month, he hopes vaccines will start to arrive within the community. 

Follow Caroline Mund on Twitter, @cemund32

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