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  • Shoshana Horn

COVID-19 Vaccine: a dilemma facing the masses

If there was a deadly virus going around and someone offered you a brand new vaccine, would you take it? That is the question many Americans may face before the end of Fall. COVID-19, the new coronavirus responsible for the pandemic that led to this new Zoom reality and abrupt lockdown in Spring 2020, might finally meet its match in many of the new developing vaccines.

There are currently dozens of COVID vaccines in development. Very few in the United States have entered what scientists call “Phase 3 efficacy trials”, in which the vaccines are given to thousands of volunteers. In fact, Russia completely bypassed these extensive research trials and administered their vaccine. China administered their version of the vaccine to their military; we cannot be sure a lot of consent was involved in either of those cases. In fact, there is a lot of controversy as to whether to take a vaccine that may not have undergone complete testing.

It’s possible that the sore deltoid from the usual flu shot might not be so bad after all. Especially since AstraZeneca, a British-Swedish company, and the University of Oxford stopped their COVID vaccine trial because one volunteer came down with transverse myelitis, a rare form of spinal inflammation. Pfizer and Moderna are two companies in the United States that are actively recruiting volunteers for their vaccines, however there is a lot of speculation of when any of these vaccines will be ready for prime time. Hopefully, there will be more vaccine success stories in the future, however for now we must continue social distancing and wearing masks to stay safe.

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