Will There be a COVID-19 Vaccine and Will it be Safe to Take?

Written by Kaherdin Clohan Bonnet (News Writer)

The long awaited vaccine for COVID-19 might not be as much of a savior as we had originally hoped and expected, rather the sketchy uncle of the vaccine and pharmaceutical world due to rushed development.

No matter where you look you’ll likely find out that a vaccine for COVID-19 is in the works and expected to be ready for the general public in as little as just a few months, which at first glance appears to be delighting and spark joy in all those ready to go back to normal day to day life like we had before this world wide pandemic.  Like everyone may know, if something is far too good to be true, it likely is.

Many people say they’ll only feel safe once a vaccine for COVID has been released and some even go as far as to say that they wont even go out until said vaccine is released! While we all want a cure quickly, rushing such delicate matters is never such a brilliant idea.

“As soon as it’s given the go-ahead, we will get it out, defeat the virus,” is what President Donald Trump, had to say, but because the COVID-19 vaccine may take only a year, it will be much weaker than other vaccines for different illnesses are, as it hasn’t had enough time for proper development, leading to the virus not only sticking around for longer, but many safety precautions needing to stay in place as well, which is also what many vaccination experts believe.

“It has not yet dawned on hardly anybody the amount of complexity and chaos and confusion that will happen in a few short months,” said Dr. Gregory Poland, the head of the Vaccine Research Group at the Mayo Clinic. Dr. Gregory Poland is explaining how when the vaccine is released, no one will know what to do or how to feel. The companies developing these vaccines in such haste, know that a normal vaccine takes not twelve to eighteen months for development, but rather ten to fifteen years. 

Besides stating the obvious that this vaccine won’t be as powerful as those that had one and a half decades to come to fruition, AstraZeneca, a company creating the COVID-19 vaccine for the United States, had to suspend the development and research of their vaccine less than one month ago, after a participant who willingly volunteered to test the vaccine developed neurological issues. This participant had supposedly developed a very rare condition, known as Transverse Myelitis, or inflammation of the spinal cord. Merely one thousand four hundred people are affected by this condition a year in the United States. While this may be a fluke or minor coincidence, this marks the second time AstraZeneca has had to halt the COVID-19 vaccine trials due to severe neurological symptoms, which was none other than Transverse Myelitis.

While the United States is trying to get this vaccine on the market as soon as possible, other countries believe the development process should take time and ensure that it is, infact, safe and effective. Health Canada, for example, has clearly stated that they will not make any decision for a vaccine to be considered under rolling review until evidence of the vaccine’s safety and quality has been provided.

When asked how he feels about the two people who came down with Transverse Myelitis during the vaccine trials, Andrew Chapman, High school Freshman had this to say, “1 in 10,000 people means it’s unlikely, but a possible side effect. It sounds like they have a side effect to fix.” 

Russell Palmer, another Freshman at our high school, when asked about how he felt regarding the affected and rushed science, stated this, “I would say they probably have preexisting conditions that triggered it, but I don’t think it would be a problem for the majority of the people who get the vaccine. Any type of medicine can affect people negatively, that’s why it’s tested, so they can find out what potential symptoms can follow. Yes, I think it should still be released, because if people don’t feel safe taking it, they can wait for further developments.”

While it may or may not cause certain side effects and will likely be weaker, it is ultimately up to each individual to decide whether they wish to wait for it to be safer and much more effective or take it the minute it hits the shelves, which will be soon, as AstraZeneca has been in stage three clinical trials for over a month, as of right now.

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