The SARS-Cov-2 coronavirus is a new virus that emerged in Asia in December of 2019. It then spread to all continents of the world, causing a pandemic. Europe and America are currently the most affected. This new virus causes the disease known as COVID-19, of which almost 100 million cases have been reported and are still on the rise. This disease has been the cause of death of more than 2 million people worldwide, which is why vaccination to prevent the disease is of great importance. We will now look at the different types of covid 19 vaccine.
What Is a Covid 19 Vaccine?
A vaccine is any preparation whose function is to generate immunity in the organism against a certain disease, stimulating it to produce antibodies that will then act to protect it against disease due to the new immune system’s ability to recognize the pathogen. It is a biological medicine made from killed or attenuated microorganisms (bacteria or viruses) or products derived from them. In reality, what covid vaccines do is to trick the body, specifically the immune system, into thinking that it is being attacked by an infectious agent and forcing it to defend itself. The microorganism inoculated with the vaccine is dead or very weakened (attenuated), so it does not pose any danger to the person, but it is enough for the immune system to react by generating antibodies against it and with them acquiring an immune memory that will allow it to recognize that particular microorganism and eliminate it.
The Differents Types of Vaccines
There are different types of covid 19 vaccines in development. They all teach our immune system how to recognize and fight the virus that causes covid 19. Sometimes, it can be the reason for the fever. These symptoms are normal and are a sign that the body is building up protection against the virus that causes covid 19:
Viral Vector – In the case of vector vaccines, such as Sputnik V and AstraZeneca’s, they work with a modified virus different from the one that causes covid 19. In this case, it is an adenovirus that contains a deoxyribonucleic acid molecule, a double gene molecule, which will carry the genes of the other virus we are interested in protecting, i.e., the coronavirus, which contains a single strand (RNA). The gene encodes a distinct part of the coronavirus, and the immune system learns to recognize it. Vaccines with viral vectors can be designed quickly. A disadvantage is that people can develop immunity to the viral vector.
Covid 19 vaccines using it: Oxford AstraZeneca, Gamaleya (SputnikV).
RNA/DNA – There are currently two such vaccines approved to prevent covid-19: Moderna/NIAID’s US mRNA-1273 and BNT162b2, developed by German lab BioNTech and US firm Pfizer. These vaccines are novel in that they use genetic engineering to generate an immune response in the body, unlike traditional vaccines, which use attenuated or inactivated viruses or inactivated toxins. Messenger RNA vaccines aim to get the body to make the SARS-CoV-2 ‘spike’ protein, which the immune system will recognize as ‘foreign,’ inducing a defensive response. In this way, the vaccines prepare the immune system to attack the new coronavirus in the event of infection.
Covid 19 vaccines using it: Pfizer, Moderna.
Virus Inactivated – The viruses contained in this covid 19 vaccine are killed and cannot reproduce. The body recognizes them as intruders. As a result, the body’s defense system creates antibodies. The disease is not triggered. This method is tried and tested technology that has been tried and tested for a long time. You may need several doses over time (booster vaccines) to have continued immunity against diseases.
Covid 19 vaccines using it: Sinovac/Butantan (CoronaVac), SinoPharm, Bharat Biotec (Covaxin).
Protein-based – Instead of using the whole virus, use only proteins or smaller parts, such as peptides, which can be obtained by recombinant biotechnology in the laboratory. These vaccines are very safe and cheap to produce but have the disadvantage of needing adjuvants or immune response amplifiers. Besides, they require more than one dose to stimulate and make an immune response against SARS-CoV-2 strong enough.
Covid 19 vaccines using it: Novavax, Sanofi.
All countries agree on the importance of the Covid-19 coronavirus vaccine for our future. Researchers around the world are working to find an effective antiviral vaccine to prevent Covid-19 from making a global dent again in the future, putting all continents in check. Vaccines are one of the health measures that have been and continue to be of greatest benefit to humanity, preventing diseases that previously caused major epidemics, deaths, and sequelae.
Vaccines benefit both vaccinated people and non-vaccinated and susceptible people living in their environment (herd immunity). Through vaccines, we have managed to eradicate smallpox. We are completing the eradication of poliomyelitis in the world, measles is no longer a frequent problem in our environment (a frequent cause of encephalitis and mental handicaps only a few years ago), we have no cases of diphtheria and other diseases such as whooping cough, tetanus, hepatitis B, meningococcal meningitis are being controlled.