Magazine News Volume 70, Issue 7

New Vaccines for COVID-19

By: Christina Chen

As the one-year mark of quarantine comes and goes, scientists have been able to understand the virus more. Now, the formulation, production and distribution of vaccines are increasing every day. The vaccines are currently available are only for people age 16 and older. However, with California facing a vaccine shortage, vaccines are in need more than ever.

“Currently the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are authorized for ages 18 and up. The Pfizer vaccine is available for ages 16 and up,” said Dr. Claudia Moore, an MD who graduated from the University of Nebraska Medical Center. “The hope is that the trials underway for younger patients shows the vaccines to be safe and effective and ready to go by fall but we have to be patient and actually see what the data looks like.” Experts predict that the vaccine might be ready for adolescents in the summer at the earliest, but fall is a more realistic expectation. 

With the number of people eligible for vaccines slowly growing, California is in need of more vaccines. President Biden aims to have all adults eligible for vaccines by May 1st. With a goal of July 4th set to reopen the country and “get closer to normal,” we are now projected to have enough vaccines for all adults by the end of May. With around 10,000 pharmacies with vaccine stations and a new website being launched that can help locate the nearest vaccine station to you, getting a vaccine is becoming easier. “I need you to get vaccinated when it’s your turn and when you can find an opportunity. And to help your family, your friends, your neighbors get vaccinated as well.” said Biden. With new variants of COVID-19 appearing, we need to be alert and not let our guard down too early.

As Dr. Moore said, “Patience is hard when the resource you want isn’t widely available. In the meantime doing the things that we know keep us safe is of paramount importance.” In a speech on the anniversary of  COVID-19 being labelled a pandemic, Biden said,  “I promise I will do everything in my power…. But I need you, the American people….I need every American to do their part…If we all do our part, this country will be vaccinated soon, our economy will be on the mend, our kids will be back in school, and we will have proven once again that this country can do anything…”