By A. Melcon
As we all know, it has been more than a year since the infamous Friday the 13th of 2020, where schools and many other services shut down across the world in an attempt to stop the international transmission of the Coronavirus. During March 2020, many countries imposed lockdowns, also baring travelers and extending entry bans to incentivize people to stay at home and sever all social interactions. At the beginning of the dreadful situation, the worst of the pandemic seemed to be concentrated in Europe, with cases in Italy, France and Spain surpassing those of other countries. However, as time went on COVID has become an immense problem worldwide; leaving the WHO organization in despair as there seems to be no favorable solution to decrease the number of infections and death tolls.
Currently, the countries with most COVID cases are USA (30,924,733), Brazil (12,490,362) and India (11,990,353), according to Wordometers. The amount of people not having recovered from this dreadful disease and in critical conditions is also growing, as the transmission of the virus is still very ongoing and there are being more and more variations of the virus, meaning that already having been exposed to the virus doesn’t guarantee you immunity, resulting in the possibility of getting infected again.
Brazil is currently being recognized the global epicenter of the pandemic by many. Whilst other countries with many COVID cases seem to be improving with forced lockdowns and rapid vaccination processes, Brazil is in a critical situation. Major cities have shot up in cases, the hospitals being over-flooded with critical patients every day and being forced to turn away some patients as the resources in the hospitals is limited. There are not enough beds, surgical tools, such as intubation tubes, and doctors to aid the increasingly huge amount of people needed immediate hospital care.
However, many scientists around the world have been working extremely hard in order to develop a vaccine to protect the population against COVID. Although the process is undoubtfully very complicated and therefore was bound to take its time, it is very relieving to say that there have been vaccines proven to work which are now being distributed worldwide.
Scientists are experimenting by creating a range of different type of vaccines, aiming to find the type best suited to combat the ongoing pandemic. One type of vaccine is composed of a small dose of the inactivated virus, which doesn’t generate COVID in your body but instead creates an immune response. Another type are protein-based vaccines, which consist of protein similar to COVID virus to, same as in the inactivated virus vaccine, safety grants your body immunity to the virus. Furthermore, Viral Vector vaccines essentially produce COVID proteins indie your body without causing a disease, but still giving your body immunity. Lastly, genetically engineered DNA can also be used to generate a protein which gives you immunity to the virus by itself.
Currently, there are more than 170 different vaccines being tried to test their efficiency and safety. There are currently 15 Whole Virus, 13 Protein Subunit, 20 Nucleic and 15 Viral Vector candidates undergoing clinical phases before being distributed to civilians. Countries are distributing their vaccines in various ways, but mostly prioritizing the elderly who are more vulnerable to the Coronavirus.
However, although it is undeniable that worldwide there is being a lot of progress with the development of COVID vaccines, there is a lot of demand for them and clearly it will take a long time before every human on the planet has taken the vaccine and we have eradicated the virus, but it is important to look back and acknowledge the process towards returning to the normality we found our lives in before March 2020.