Novel News: Updates on the COVID-19 Vaccine

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Graphic by: Shane Wooden

Alan Mathew, News Editor

With concern in the air, the general public is still weathering the physical and emotional effects of the novel coronavirus that’s become a global health crisis in the last few months. As such, the battle to end this time of anxiety and bring us back to regular life is being fought as aggressively as possible, especially for the sake of those affected or those who might be. 

  The consensus among all reliable bodies of scientific authority seems to be that the formulation and implementation of an effective, long term vaccine gives the public the best chance for ending the pandemic. And, as the MayoClinic asserts, “While vaccine development can take years, researchers aren’t starting from scratch to develop a COVID-19 vaccine. Past research on SARS and MERS vaccines has identified potential approaches.” Today, more and more trials to tackle the virus are taking place. 

  According to Nature.com, “At least seven teams are developing vaccines using the virus itself, in a weakened or inactivated form,” with others attempting different avenues of attack, such as the targeting of different proteins. Recent news is promising but should be met with caution. Pfizer, a major American pharmaceutical company, has been showing promise in their vaccine creation attempts, and certain sources even say that that could mean seeing a vaccine in just a few short months. The reliability of this estimate, of course, is still very much worthy of a healthy amount of doubt.

  Senior Naveen Farook remains optimistic but is prepared regardless. “My generation, the generation before it, and even the one before that has never experienced something as reality-altering as this, so I think it’s essential for people to remain flexible to the possibility of extended quarantines. I understand the fear of a drastic hit to the economy under these measures but the reality is, economies can be restored, but human life can’t. My advice is to practice social distancing protocols, if not for yourself and family, [then] for the researchers who are pouring hours in to find a vaccine and allow everyone to return to a pre-coronavirus lifestyle.” Naveen’s words are well reasoned and thoughtful, similar to junior Nicole Leyva’s. In her words, “[For now I] focus on getting through this month.” Nicole’s stress and anxiety are real and pressing; nevertheless, as she waits, she knows that she has to strive for patience. As hard as that is to ask of oneself, it’s, unfortunately, the most important thing for us next to CDC guidelines and safe practices.