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Developers break records with new COVID-19 vaccine

Many have turned to the medical world asking for a vaccine, and there are now 135 in development. The U.S. has announced that it hopes to have a functioning vaccine ready to distribute by the end of the year or the beginning of 2021 and has reportedly donated $11 billion dollars to companies with promising data.

A typical vaccine is developed over a period of about six years, and although a return to normal life would be nice, this new vaccine raises concern due to the record-breaking speed at which it has been developed.

“For me personally, I won’t be getting the vaccine when it first comes out,” said Mrs. Kim Singer, Assistant Coordinator and 10th grade health teacher. “I just don’t know, with it coming out so quick, without knowing the long term effects.”

Due to its similarity to the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and MERS (Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome) viruses, developers are able to start by tweaking existing treatments and vaccinations for these diseases instead of having to start from scratch. Despite reassurance from experts, skeptics are still concerned about what’s going into the vaccine.

“I’m a little more concerned about the ethics of it and about effectiveness rather than if it’s safe. I think that we’ve done enough studies with vaccines that we know generally what is and isn’t safe,” said world history and Bible teacher Mrs. Emily Wood. “I think the fact that it’s been done so quickly is cause to question whether it would actually be effective or not.”

Because the COVID-19 virus is new this year, accurate representations of data are hard to come by. There is some dispute over whether or not a person who has already been infected can get it again, though evidence suggests that they can. This leads to confusion about how strong to make the vaccine, how long it lasts and what kind of vaccine will work best.

“I think people will probably see it as a silver bullet to fix everything, but we know that inoculation doesn’t mean you’re totally immune to something,” Mrs. Wood said. “I do think we should still use caution.”


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