By Du Young Kim
Since COVID-19 first appeared in America it seemed as if the world was going into a frenzy. The deadly coronavirus has taken away many lives and broken apart many families. Although it has been a tragic year, there now appears to be some hope as news about a possible vaccine coming out.
Moderna, a major pharmaceutical company, is one of the first to announce positive results on a coronavirus vaccine. According to the New York Times article “Moderna Applies for Emergency F.D.A. Approval for Its Coronavirus Vaccine” by Denise Grady, “The drugmaker Moderna announced highly encouraging results on Monday, saying that complete data from a large study show its coronavirus vaccine to be 94.1 percent effective, a finding that confirms earlier estimates. The company said that it applied on Monday to the Food and Drug Administration to authorize the vaccine for emergency use, and that if approved, injections for Americans could begin as early as Dec. 21.
Now that the vaccine is about to be administered to world populations, people are beginning to wonder which groups of people would qualify for the first vaccine shots. Denise Grady, “The first shots of the two vaccines are likely to go to certain groups, including health care workers, essential workers like police officers, people in other critical industries, and employees and residents in nursing homes.”
A vaccine might sound like a solution to this pandemic but the truth of the matter is that a virus can always evolve. According to The New York Times article “The Virus Won’t Stop Evolving When the Vaccine Arrives” by James Gorman and Carl Zimmer, “As medicine battles bacteria and viruses, those organisms continue to undergo mutations and evolve new characteristics.”
“But vaccines won’t put an end to the evolution of this coronavirus, as David A. Kennedy and Andrew F. Read of the Pennsylvania State University, specialists in viral resistance to vaccines, wrote in PLoS Biology, a peer reviewed, open access journal recently. Instead, they could even drive new evolutionary change. There is always a chance, though small, the authors wrote, that the virus could evolve resistance to a vaccine, what researchers call “virus escape.”
As tough New Yorkers, we need to survive until the vaccine is actually administered. Right now, the coronavirus rate is rising once again showing signs of a second wave as we enter the winter season. Whether the vaccine is effective in the long run or not, we as human beings, need to fight this pandemic together one step at a time.