Last December, a mysterious cluster of pneumonia cases of an unknown cause were reported from China in the city of Wuhan, the capital of the Hubei province. This marked the begining of the Coronavirus Pandemic. Fast forward a year and we are living in an extremely different world where masks are being worn, social distancing and national lockdowns are the norm.
In the last few weeks, all that everybody is talking about is the vaccine. It has been confirmed that both Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccine are 90% and 94.5% effective respectively. Many have questioned why and the development of the vaccine took so quick? Is it effective? What are the side effects?
To answer those questions, the thing to note is that vaccines take time and most importatly MONEY to make. The SARS-COV-2 virus chain is a serious threat to EVERYBODY in comparison to some other viruses which only affect a minority of the population. As a result, so much time has been put in to the research and development of this vaccine. How was it so quick? Well, applying for funding for vaccine research involves a lot of paperwork to be even considered. The US Government [and Germany] is funding the likes of Pfizer and Moderna themselves which ultimatley takes away the time for waiting on funding approval. Hence, the vaccine has been almost ready within a year of the initial outbreak. Also, technology is much better than it was in the Middle Ages so that is another reason.
UPDATE: We are proud to announce, along with @BioNTech_Group, that our mRNA-based #vaccine candidate has, at an interim analysis, demonstrated initial evidence of efficacy against #COVID19 in participants without prior evidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection.
— Pfizer Inc. (@pfizer) November 9, 2020
While we wait for approval from the FDA, all we can do is STAY AT HOME, Social Distance and Wear a Mask.
Here is a brief overview of the Coronavirus Pandemic in Ireland (as of Dec 6 2020):
- Dec 31: China reports a cluster of pneumonia cases.
- Jan 8: First death confirmed in China.
- Jan 24: France, among other European countries, report their first cases.
- Feb 29: Ireland reports its first case of the (now) deadly virus.
- Mar 11: Ireland confirms its first death. WHO announces that COVID-19 is a global pandemic (previously an epidemic). Global stockmarket crashes.
- Mar 12: Schools in Ireland close.
- Mar 15: Pubs in Ireland to close for 2 weeks
- Mar 27: Irish government announces a ‘2 week’ lockdown, like that of many other countries. This would be extended.
- May 15: Ireland begins to reopen with further easings made in June.
- Jul 15: Face masks made compulsary on public transport and in shops/shopping centres.
- Aug 7: Localised lockdown for Kildare, Laois and Offaly.
- Sep 9: Living With Covid Plan announced.
- Sep 18: Level 3 imposed in Dublin and Donegal a week later.
- Oct 5: Level 3 imposed nationwide
- Oct 19: Level 5 announced nationwide, comes into effect October 21st for 6 weeks.
- Nov 9: Pfizer vaccine proves to be 90% effective
- Nov 16: Moderna vaccine proves to be 95% effective.
- Dec 1: Restrictions eased in Ireland with further easings taking place December 4th and 18th. Also, Irish government approves Moderna vaccine and purches 875,000 doses.
Read More about Pfizer.
Read More about Moderna.