The ongoing war against COVID-19 rages on


As the COVID-19 vaccination is starting to gain momentum, many people are hopeful that the end of the pandemic is in sight for United States citizens. Vaccination sites like this one in New Jersey are just the beginning of many vaccination clinics that are to come. Photo from Seth Wenig

Ethan Rower, Staff Writer

As the infamous 2020 came to a close, the war against COVID-19 is still far from over. There are now three vaccines that are out and are being administered every day. These vaccines are from Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson (J&J). These three vaccines are now being released and are starting to be used on the elderly and medical professionals. 

The most recent vaccine to become available is the vaccine from the company Johnson & Johnson. This might be the most important of all the vaccines because, unlike the other two, this one is a single dose shot. Paul Stoffels, M.D., Vice Chairman of the Executive Committee and Chief Scientific Officer of Johnson & Johnson, said, “A one-shot vaccine is considered by the World Health Organization to be the best option in pandemic settings, enhancing access, distribution and compliance. Eighty-five percent efficacy in preventing severe COVID-19 disease and prevention of COVID-19-related medical interventions will potentially protect hundreds of millions of people from serious and fatal outcomes of COVID-19. It also offers the hope of helping ease the huge burden placed on healthcare systems and communities.”

This means that unlike both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, there is no need to receive a second dose of the vaccine after the initial shot. This vaccine has been proven to be 85% effective in preventing any serious COVID-19 related medical interventions which means that this vaccine, although not making you immune to COVID, can still greatly decrease your chances of becoming serious or even fatally ill because of COVID.

Our goal all along has been to create a simple, effective solution for the largest number of people possible, and to have maximum impact to help end the pandemic. We’re proud to have reached this critical milestone and our commitment to address this global health crisis continues with urgency for everyone, everywhere,” said Alex Gorsky, Chairman, Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer of Johnson & Johnson. 

Gorsky and the rest of his team have found the simple and effective solution to combat COVID that they were looking for and are set to produce 20 million doses by the end of March. This vaccine testing was 72% effective in the United States and 66% effective overall in preventing any who were given the vaccine from having moderate to severe cases of COVID-19. The only downside to this vaccine is that it is not allowed for those below the age of 18 as well as any pregnant women because those tests are still in progress.

“In the fight against COVID-19, a vaccine is a critical part of addressing the global health crisis by decreasing rates of infection, disease and death worldwide. Pfizer and BioNTech leveraged decades of scientific expertise to design and execute a rigorous Phase 3 clinical trial program to make our investigational COVID-19 vaccine available as quickly and safely as possible.” The first vaccine to be approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is from Pfizer-BioNTech and was and was authorized for emergency use under the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for individuals that are ages 18 and older. This vaccine has around a 95% efficacy rate, whereas the J&J vaccine has only a 66% efficacy rate, which is 29% less than that of the Pfizer vaccine. 

Even with the vaccines being distributed, now is not the time to relax restrictions. With an average of 70,000 new cases nationwide, Dr. Rockelle Welanskey the new director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said, “With these statistics, I am really worried about more states rolling back the exact public health measures we have recommended to protect people from Covid-19.” She says that now is not the time to stop wearing masks, because this will just cause the number of cases to rise again. Wearing masks is important to slow the spread of COVID, and soon our lives will hopefully return to some sort of normalcy.