How Texas will proceed with Covid-19

How Texas will proceed with Covid-19

Grace Lynch, Senior Writer

As we head into the first few months of the New Year, many people have begun to wonder how the country and states, will respond to the rise in infections. With new vaccines and new strains of the virus, states have put out more concise vaccination plans to try and curb COVID-19.

According to the Texas Department of State and Health Services, Plans 1A and 1B are currently in motion. Plan 1A includes Healthcare workers, while Plan 1B prioritizes people of ages 65 or older and people 16 or older with chronic medical diseases – diabetes, obesity and more – that put them at a greater risk for infection.

After these demographics have been supplied with the vaccine, it will become more available to the general public. People younger than 16 do not yet have access to the vaccine because of limited testing towards that age group. As the whole world attempts to provide the vaccination as quickly as possible, it will be a while before supply meets demands. 

A few of our teachers here a THS have begun the process of getting the vaccine, and some have even gotten the first shot. With any luck, we are on our way to a COVID-free Tomball.

As vaccines are released, there is quite a lot of concern as to what ingredients the vaccine has. For starters, two of the vaccines don’t have a live virus.

The Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines use pieces of genetic material known as mRNA instead of virus particles to create an immune response. Even still, there is some uncertainty as to how the “genetic material” can affect you.

The short answer? It can’t. According to Kerry McGee MD, of GoodRx, The genetic material in the COVID-19 vaccines falls apart naturally in a few days after your body has had time to make antibodies against the SARS-CoV2 spike proteins. The mRNA enters your body rapped in oil packets, these oil packets contain:

  1. ALC-0315 = (4-hydroxybutyl) azanediyl)bis (hexane-6,1-diyl)bis(2-hexyl decanoate)
  2. ALC-0159 = 2-[(polyethylene glycol)-2000]-N,N-di-tetradecyl acetamide
  3. 1,2-distearoyl-sn-glycerol-3-phosphocholine
  4. Cholesterol 

These lipids sound scary but in reality, some of these are fats found naturally in living cells, while others are made specifically to mimic the cell wall. 

The second part of these vaccines is a liquid, Saline-Solution, this includes:

  1. Potassium chloride
  2. Dipotassium phosphate
  3. Sodium chloride 
  4. Disodium phosphate 
  5. Sucrose

Once again, nothing to be afraid of. For example, sucrose is sugar, sodium chloride is salt and potassium chloride is a naturally occurring substance found in the body.

Lastly, only .04% of recipients have experienced an allergic reaction and they all recovered quickly.

The vaccine has shown to up to 95% effective in the week after both doses were administered.

Recently, a third vaccine was approved, one made by Johnson & Johnson. Unlike the previous two vaccines, the J&J shot requires only a single dose and uses standard vaccine systems. Also, it has been tested in regions where virus mutations are common and still found to be effective.

As everyone prepares to manufacture these vaccines as quickly as possible, hopes begin to rise as we finally see a solution to this problem.

If all goes as planned, experts say that we’re well on our way to winning this war with COVID-19. Dr. Anthony Fauci offered a timeline for the end of the pandemic presenting the possibility that we could approach herd immunity by summer’s end and “normality that is close to where we were before” by the end of 2021.

As we reach the finish line, just remember to keep wearing masks and social distancing, so we can all be done with COVID-19 once and for all.