What you need to know about the COVID-19 vaccine

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The only viable way that our pandemic ridden world to return to ‘normal’ is a COVID vaccine. Now vaccine manufacturers are on the fast track to. To do this, trials are being condensed and the government is rushing the approval process.

Some of the companies attempting a vaccine are using RNA, while others use DNA. RNA vaccines may be the most promising because they take less time to develop, but have not been used previously, which creates a different challenge. It is still unsure exactly how the vaccine will be most effective, so many different approaches are necessary.

Safety is of the utmost importance when distributing a vaccine to an entire world’s population. But because the COVID vaccine is moving so quickly through trial stages, 100% efficacy is near impossible. It is expected that at least 70% efficacy would be enough to contain an outbreak, but below 60% would be ineffective with the biggest challenge being efficacy in older people.

Another challenge will be getting 7-14 billion vaccine doses to the world. Until we know more about the vaccine, the only thing that can be done is setting up vaccine factories for each possible kind of vaccine, so that when it’s known how it will be made, manufacturing can begin immediately. Additionally, not everyone will be able to get the vaccine together. It is likely that healthcare workers will be the first to receive the vaccine. Some also believe that low income countries should be the first to get the vaccine, because they are at a higher risk for deaths.

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