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The World’s Vaccine Options: Here’s What Is Going On

What’s been going on lately with the COVID-19 vaccine? Every country is facing its own issues and enacting its own plan. Here’s the most recent rundown on how the world is handling this long process.

mRNA vaccines

There are many different types of COVID-19 vaccines in Europe and North America that fit into a couple of broad categories. One broad category is messenger RNA vaccines, supposedly the latest and the greatest. There are two types: Pfizer and Moderna. The Pfizer is from the U.S. and Germany; it involves two shots, 21 days apart and a likely third booster. Moderna is from America; it involves two shots, 28 days apart and a likely third booster.

Viral vector vaccines

The second category of COVID-19 vaccines is viral vector vaccines. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine from the U.S. is a convenient one shot. It’s currently on pause because of reported side effects, but most people expect the J & J to come back.

Similar to this vaccine is the AstraZeneca vaccine. It’s in the United Kingdom and is two shots. The space between the two vaccines is a little out there because the British government has changed its mind a couple of times on how far apart those two shots should be. Unfortunately, some scary side effects have also been reported around the world. In addition, some studies say that the vaccine is not effective against certain variants, including most notably the South African variant.

Vaccination rates around the world

Here in the U.S., half of all adults have received at least one dose of a vaccine, but it’s a different story across the ocean. Things are kind of all over the place. Canada, believe it or not, has had a dismal rollout. While the UK isn’t really that far behind the U.S., Israel is leading the way in the percentage of adults vaccinated globally. Chile is doing fairly well in Latin America, with nearly 40% of its population having received at least one dose. Still, there are fears that their reliance on allegedly less reliable Chinese vaccines is causing problems. There’s also the Russian-made Sputnik V vaccine, which has faced allegations that it’s inferior to other shots. In fact, the president of Argentina took this vaccine and ended up testing positive for COVID. But he didn’t get very sick and definitely didn’t die. 

So with all this information, we can assure you of one thing. The debate will continue, and allegations will continue flying between countries and corporations about whose vaccine is better and more effective.

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