The war for the vaccine against COVID

Our joy in a well. The forecasts of millions of doses, of the different vaccines against COVID, that were to arrive at the end of this year will be delayed. Still US President Donald Trump promised mass vaccinations during the month of October, in full electoral campaign. It seems that not even the desire to accelerate the process, to win votes, has been able to act as a catalyst for them to reach us faster. The good news is that the vaccines appear to be highly effective. Greater than 90%, as announced by the companies Pfizer and Moderna. It must be remembered that for a vaccine to be approved by the agencies in charge of the process, it must have an efficacy of more than 50%, which seems to be more than enough. It is also very encouraging that the majority of patients who have acquired the disease during the trials have been those who were in the 'control group', that is, those who had not received the vaccine but a placebo and those patients Those who had received the vaccine and who developed the disease did so with very mild symptoms. It also appears that the acquired immunity will be long-lasting.

According to their statements, they have estimated that they will have approximately 45 million doses, enough to vaccinate 22.5 million people, by the end of this year. But they also announce that by the spring of next year there will be billions of doses in distribution. It must be remembered that manufacturing these vaccines is not an easy matter, being a combination of science, art and business development. A new technology is going to be used, based on RNA, which has not been used previously, but which seems to be very effective. The difficulties also affect production chains. With a shortage of materials such as aluminum tanks, cold rooms, plastic bags and all kinds of materials necessary for mass-scale manufacturing. There are also countries, such as India, that have announced that they will keep half of the doses they manufacture and will only distribute the rest to other countries. More surprising is China, where it appears that part of the population is already being vaccinated. Without having passed the relevant tests or at least without making them public.

Public and private investments

Huge efforts have been made by both the European Union and the US government to accelerate the development and manufacturing process of these vaccines. For example, the United States Government has invested more than two million dollars in that of the Modern company. Pfizer has refused to receive state subsidies but has contracted with different countries throughout the world to receive money in exchange for future doses. Although these companies have had to cut their expectations in half, there are others like AstraZeneca that have had to stop their clinical trials for six weeks. Something similar has happened with the Novavax company, which has one of the most advanced vaccines, but is also behind schedule due to problems with the trials. Multinational companies like Johnson and Johnson are further behind and don't expect to have the vaccine until well into next year.

Conservation: a problem

Another difficulty is the distribution of the vaccine. For example, Pfizer's has to be kept at about 70 degrees below zero, which has forced the manufacture of cold storage farms the size of football fields by said corporation and in Asturias they have even offered a Mine to preserve it. Moderna's vaccine seems to be easier to distribute, since its conservation is at higher temperatures, around 20 degrees below zero, which are easier to reach.

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