Opinions

Different COVID-19 Vaccines set for Immediate Distribution

As we navigate through the uncharted territory brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic and whilst most countries within Europe and the United States record surges in cases, the cavalry does seem to be on the way. Whilst we are likely to maintain mitigation measures for the foreseeable future, there has been a lot of positive news due to the excellent results achieved by the vaccines produced to fight COVID-19. Three main vaccines have been earmarked to play a crucial role as we turn the tide in the fight against this dreadful pandemic.

These three vaccine projects are being led by Pfizer, Moderna and the University of Oxford. Whilst the first two mentioned here have registered extremely positive interim result data, quoting ninety percent success rates and over, Oxford University’s vaccine highlights that it tends to work better in older people, who are most at risk from the adverse effects of this pandemic.

When considering the latest news, it is quite clear to see that remarkable progress has been made and it does seem that we may be in for a pleasant Christmas gift.

Naturally, the main question now revolves around distribution and by when would it be considered feasible to have the overwhelming majority of people vaccinated. As the different organisations involved in the production of their respective vaccines now turn their sights towards regulatory approval, many are expecting that the first inoculations may start in December. Yes that is right, December!

The next question would then be, how long will it take to make it accessible to the entire population?

It has been recently stated that the vaccine will be made available to all Maltese people within six months of its launch and subsequent arrival. Considering the nature of the pandemic, priority will first be given to those who are vulnerable, together with healthcare workers and front-liners.

If things do indeed go according to plan, we might say goodbye to the current mitigation measures in the second half of 2021. Although that may seem like an eternity away, we have come a long way since the start of this disease and subsequent pandemic.

So what are the potential pressure points?

Pfizer’s vaccine will need to be stored in extremely cold temperatures and this requires significant infrastructural preparation. Failure to plan properly may lead to delays in the vaccination programme. There is also another bone of contention relating to the durability of the vaccine and how long it will protect people for. Will this vaccine require booster shots or is a one-time inoculation sufficient? These are questions that only time will answer.

Are you looking forward to the launch of the COVID-19 vaccine? Let us know in the comments section below.

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