COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Set To Begin In Late 2020

COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Set To Begin In Late 2020

By Celina Saba, Staff Writer

As of September 30, the pandemic has killed 206,852 Americans. The Trump administration is seeking to cut that number in the bud before it continues to accelerate even more, with a vaccine before election day, November 3.

According to Shelia Kaplan from The New York Times, “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has notified public health officials in all 50 states and five large cities to prepare to distribute a coronavirus vaccine to health care workers and other high-risk groups as soon as late October or early November.”

This news excites many as the prospect of returning to normalcy is coming into reach. On the other hand, others worry about the vaccine. It is not a mystery that producing an efficient and effective vaccine takes a long time. In fact, it takes most vaccines, except for the annual flu vaccine, a few years until they are sent out to the public.

The normal journey of a vaccine requires it to go through these five steps:

  1. Pre-Clinical Phase
    1. Testing human cells and/or animals for safety
  2. Human Trials
      1. Fifty people to ensure the safety of the vaccine
      2. Hundreds of people to ensure the vaccine is effective
      3. Tens of thousands of people to test a broad spectrum of individuals.
  3. Licensing
  4. Manufacturing
  5. Distribution

This whole journey, on average, takes ten years, but COVID-19 Vaccine Developers are planning on making this journey last about 1.5 years. The top infectious disease expert on the Trump administration estimates a vaccine could arrive in at least 12 to 18 months.

To make this feasible, vaccine developers are overlapping some of the steps in hopes of speeding up the process while still focusing on the quality of their product.

Some developers are starting step 4: manufacturing, while still in step 2c. Their goal is to get a head start on manufacturing the vaccine while it’s still in the last human trial, and hopefully, it will pass and already be in step 4.

Other developers are overlapping the human trials. Instead of waiting for each trial to be complete before testing the next group, they will test multiple groups at the same time.

With a possible vaccine coming very soon, it brings up the question of what the public thinks.

“I would take it,” said junior Mehreen Patel. “And as an essential worker, I would probably be mandated to take it.”

Junior Zucchious Kerl Rosal also had an opinion on the upcoming vaccine. “I am all for the vaccine. I just hope they aren’t rushing the process in a way that affects the safety of the vaccine.”

In the end, the public is keeping a close eye on the release of the vaccine. The vaccine will either help improve our lives or need more improvisation before it can achieve that goal.

Correction: An earlier version of this article stated as of Sept. 17, the pandemic has killed more than 184,000 Americans. The article has since been updated to include the total death count as of Sept. 30.