By Regina Sears

The novel coronavirus has stayed with the world nearly for a year. This pandemic has brought many changes in people’s lives, from wearing masks to social distancing in order to prevent the spread of the virus. With research occurring since the rise of the newly found disease, scientists have finally developed a form of vaccination for COVID-19. 

Currently, the vaccine market for COVID-19 consists of six main competitors, including ​​​​Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Janssen, Novavax, and Oxford. While there are differences between the sporadicity of the injection stages, all vaccines in the market seem to be approved by federal governments of their use and effect in blocking the virus.  

Unlike typical pre-pandemic vaccines, the newly developed COVID vaccines use an mRNA method in order to fight the disease. Regular vaccines released weaker versions of the actual virus in order to prompt the body’s immune system to properly respond and defend itself against pathogens. However, the mRNA vaccine releases messenger RNAs which carry genetic instruction within one’s body. A replica of the harmless spiked protein of the COVID virus is created by the ribosomes according to the genetic instruction given by the messenger RNA. This triggers the body’s immune system to recognize the spiked protein as a form of a disease, and will prepare itself to fight the disease, thus creating strengthened immunity to the specific virus. 

Since the holiday season, starting from health workers and medical personnels, some have received their first dose of the vaccine. While the distribution of vaccines is still being implemented in most countries, it seems as the end is near, and we finally see the light at the end of the cave.