Coronavirus Vaccine

Cade Clark, MVCurrent Writer

Pfizer, a pharmaceutical company, has been paving the way for a COVID-19 vaccine for months. 

The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) requires at least a 50% efficacy for companies who wanted to submit vaccines for emergency authorization. Pfizer’s preliminary results from testing showed about 90% efficacy from 44,000 participants. 

This vaccine is different from most vaccines. The mRNA vaccine gives you genetic material that the muscle cells in the arm. When injected it translates into viral protein. This is unlike most vaccines where the viral protein is directly injected. 

A challenge right now for transporting the vaccine across the country and internationally is temperature requirements. The vaccine has to stay at a negative 70 degrees Celsius, or negative 94 degrees Fahrenheit. If not kept in proper condition, it could degrade within just 5 days.

The first set of the Pfizer’s vaccines have just arrived from Belgium. Following the Federal Aviation Administrations statement of “supporting the first mass air shipment of a vaccine.”

The FAA is allowing United Airlines to carry 15,000 pounds of dry ice per flight, which is 5 times the amount allowed to be on a flight, to sustain the low temperatures that the vaccine must be kept at.

The first batches of the vaccines have been delivered. It is already being offered to healthcare workers, and it should be available to the general public spring of 2021.