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PostCovid Vaccine Update (A. J. Cave, USA, 03/06/21 3:51 am)
I wrote about the development of the Covid-19 vaccines and the OWS (Operation Warp Speed) on December 23rd. I don't know if it was posted. It was so long ago. [JE: Yes, on December 24th. Click here: http://waisworld.org/go.jsp?id=02a&objectType=post&o=139326&objectTypeId=102348&topicId=188 ]
Since then, Johnson & Johnson (J & J)'s vaccine has been approved by the FDA and via a strategic partnership with Merck--one of the biggest vaccine manufacturers in the world--they would increase the global vaccine supplies.
The J&J Covid-19 vaccine is a more traditional one and doesn't need refrigeration, compared to the Covid vaccines made by Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech that are facing a lipid nanoparticles shortage, as explained more fully in a Vox piece:
In short, Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines use a new manufacturing technology and very few facilities are capable of making those vaccines. They use mRNA (messenger RNA) instead of dead Covid-19 virus cells, to "teach" our immune systems to fight the infection. They are "safer" because they don't have dead virus cells--which we still don't understand fully. However, mRNA molecules are also very finicky and need the newly invented fatty wrappers--lipid nanoparticles--to be delivered into the bodies.
It would be the J&J and more traditional vaccines like them that would make mass vaccination globally more realistic. They also introduce dead virus cells into our bodies. The long-term effects of none of these vaccines are known.
JE comments: The Vox article above answers a lot of our technical questions--in particular, the extreme complexity (and presumably, cost) of the mRNA technology. The Johnson & Johnson old-school approach is cheaper, at $10 per dose to manufacture. Do we want dead Covid cells floating around our bloodstream? The thought is scary, but isn't this the same immunization principle we've known since the days of Edward Jenner?
Someday, someday, I hope there's a vaccine for me.