May 11th 2021
We are starkly reminded of how sidelining science can lead to #VaccineHesitancy globally as cases of COVID-19 continue to spike, taking us further away from herd immunity and normality. We wrote about the human cost of such sidelining with regards to the US and now similar reports are emerging from Brazil and India. These reports are also a stark reminder of #VaccineEquity where, for example, India which produces the majority of the world’s COVID-19 vaccines is experiencing over 300,000 deaths daily but does not have enough vaccine supply to inoculate its own population. At the same time due to #VaccineHesitancy, some states in the US are turning away allotments due to reduced demand.
We would like to remind our readers to get vaccinated, do not spread misinformation, educate your friends, family and colleagues, and confront your fears (see here, here and here).
In the continuing push to get individuals vaccinated so that we can have a greater degree of control over this pandemic while limiting future loss of life, it is timely that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has now extended the Emergency Use Authorization of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to include individuals 12-15 years of age.
Despite having different efficacy rates, interim analyses highlight that the common vaccines administered in the US for COVID-19 are successful at preventing severe COVID—with rates between 85-100%. This means that while it may still be possible to get COVID, the risk of dying from COVID-19 decreases dramatically after vaccination.
We would like to remind our readers that the amazing accomplishment of producing effective vaccines within a year—was made possible by decades of previous research findings. It depended on over a decade of #AnimalResearch into coronaviruses, such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), along with decades of prior research into mRNA vaccines. Additionally, pre-clinical research evaluating safety and efficacy prior to human use was performed with many species of animals.
~Speaking of Research