The Vaccine

The vaccine against COVID 19 has been developed in less than a year by two pharmaceutical companies since the disease came on the scene.  The companies are Pfizer and Moderna; both companies are a publicly traded on the stock exchange. Moderna is listed on the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations (NASDAQ) and Pfizer is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

Both vaccines are supposed to prevent a person from being infected with COVID 19; but what are the differences between the vaccines that each company is putting out? Both companies have publicly released the vaccine’s ingredients that.

Pfizer listed the ingredients as:

  • mRNA
  • Lipids
  • Potassium Chloride
  • Monobasic potassium phosphate
  • Sodium chloride
  • Dibasic sodium phosphate dehydrate
  • Sucrose

The known side effect to the Pfzer vaccine is:

  • Injection site pain, swelling, or redness
  • Tiredness
  • Headache
  • Muscle Pain
  • Chills
  • Joint pain
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Swollen lymph nodes

Pfizer also provides a warning that there is a remote chance that their vaccine could cause a severe allergic reaction. That if there is an allergic reaction, it will show up withing a few minutes to an hour after getting a dosage. Pfizer recommends that people with a history of severe reactions to any other vaccinations should take their COVID 19 vaccine in a setting where medical treatment is available.

Pfizer’s targeted population the vaccine is marketed for who are people 16 and older.  The vaccine is taken in two doses; the first one is the priming dosage. The second dose is the booster shot taken 21 days after the prime dosage.

The Pfizer vaccine is stored at -94 degrees Fahrenheit (-70 degrees Celsius) while in transit to the various vaccination sites. On site it is stored in a refrigerator between 36 to 46 degrees Fahrenheit for five days.

While Moderna listed the ingredients in their vaccine as:

  • mRNA
  • Lipids
  • Tromethamine
  • Tromethamine hydrochloride
  • Acetic acid
  • Sodium acetate
  • Sucrose

The known side effects to the moderna vaccine is:

  • Injection site pain, swelling, or redness
  • Tiredness
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Joint pain
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Nausea/vomiting

Moderna reported that no allergic reactions were observe on their test subjects during their clinical trials; but the gov’t entities that we all love and trust, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has recommended that people with a history of allergic reactions to any vaccination, exercise caution.

Moderna’s targeted population that the vaccine is marketed for are people 18 and older. However, Moderna is testing a vaccine for those 12-17 years old.

The Moderna’s vaccine is also taken twice. The booster shot is taken 28 days after the prime dosage.

The Mordena vaccine is stored at temperatures of -4 degrees Fahrenheit (-20 degrees Celsius) while in transit to the vaccination sites. Once on site the vaccine is stored in a refrigerator between 36 to 46 degrees Fahrenheit (2 to 8 Celsius); the vaccine will stay stable for up to six months at -20 degrees Celsius and 12 hours at room temperature.

 Both of the vaccines are making use of a new development in medical technology called “messenger RNA (mRNA).” What a mRNA vaccine does is encode a portion of the spiked protein found on the surface of the virus that causes COVID 19; and use pieces of the encoded protein to spark a response from the body’s immune system. The response will be the manufacturing of the antibodies that the body will use to fend off future illness caused by the COVID 19 virus.

Once the body creates the immunity response, the body eliminates the encoded protein and the mRNA; but the manufactured antibodies will be forever present to protect the body from future attacks from the COVID 19 virus.

According to Pfizer, mRNA vaccines are a bit different to conventional vaccines, because no virus is needed to make a batch of mRNA vaccine; even though a small amount of the virus is used for gene sequencing and vaccine testing. 

Sounds contradictory that the virus isn’t needed to develop an mRNA based vaccine; but the virus is needed for gene sequencing and to obtain a piece of the spiked portion. True_George would love to see the official findings; I’m sure it is in a medical peer reviewed journal.

Now that the vaccines are being distributed, people in general are do not trust that these first batches of vaccine are totality safe. Especially in this day and age when people are questioning the effectiveness of manufactured vaccinations. In recent times there is an atmosphere of anti-vaccination movements. But then again when the vaccinations against widespread incurable diseases were developed the general public were skeptics.

But with this one, people are even more skeptics because of the length of time it has taken to develop a vaccine. Perhaps people may be a bit more accepting if things were simple. Instead of this mRNA stuff, that the medical scientists get back to the basics. The saying is, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

For example, one of the first campaigns of successful mass inoculation against an incurable disease before a vaccine was developed was done during the American Revolution war. General George Washington inoculated the newly form United States Army against smallpox during the dead of  winter in 1777.

This was done using a technique called variolation that was being used in Asia and Africa at the time. It was to take the pus from an infected person and use it to give an infection free person a mild case of the disease. The person’s immune system would develop the antibodies to fight off the disease and will provide protection from future infections.

However, it wasn’t risk free; if the person was not healthy with a strong immune system, there was a potential of the mild case  becoming full blown. But if you look at it, even with today’s inoculation techniques and mRNA that risk of developing the disease after receiving the vaccination is still present. One can say that all this business is messy.

One of the many Physicians in True_George’s family who are on the front lines fighting COVID 19 has taken the first dosage of the COVID 19 vaccination. I suppose the other Physicians in the family will be taking it also. So, this means that True_George will follow suit because the Physicians in the family are experts and know what they are doing. Are you going to take the vaccine? Or are you going to wait to see if it is effective.

6 Comments »

  1. I think swollen lymph nodes would be a given seeing that you’re ‘exciting’ them with a pretend virus to get your immune system to create antibodies – but I suppose they have to mention it to stop people phoning their doctors. Well researched post though…

    It has certainly been a very rapidly developed vaccine and of course there may be risks and we don’t know what all the risks will be yet but, if I were to be offered a vaccination (which I won’t be), I’d take it in a flash – risk or no risk! Covid is a far bigger risk than any potential reaction in supervised surroundings.

    I’m not sure on the antibodies lasting a lifetime though – as they only last 3 months if you catch the disease, what are they doing to the vaccines which make them think they’ll last a lifetime? And, of course, the virus keeps mutating. I think it’s more likely it will have to be an annual vaccination like the ‘flu jab.

    Liked by 1 person

    • There are antibodies to fight certain diseases one the vaccine is taken such as polio and others you would have to get a booster shot every couple of years.

      When I first joined the Army I was given an array of vaccinations; including the small pox virus then later on when the flu shot was developed the Army gave it to us every year. Then before being deployed to Iraq I was given another array of vaccinations, booster shots against a bunch of aliments, given the small pox virus again, In Kuwait given the 1st Anthrax shot; in Iraq given the 2nd Anthrax shot; I was out of Iraq and in Europe by the time it was time for the 3rd shot

      would you believe after getting all those vaccinations it was over 5 years before I got a cold, and now I rarely get sick…

      Like

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