COVID-19 vaccines bring hope for the future

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Jae C. Hong / AP

People wait their turn to receive doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Although the world is still struggling with the COVID-19 pandemic, vaccines for the virus are presenting promising results. 

To begin, all five of the vaccines — produced by Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Novavax, and Johnson & Johnson — have decreased COVID-19 deaths, according to The Scientific American. 

Roughly 75,000 people received one of the five vaccines in a research trial. No one in the testing group has died from COVID-19, and those who needed medical attention didn’t remain hospitalized for long after receiving a shot. In comparison, a group of 75,000 people without the vaccine saw 150 deaths and several hundred hospitalizations.

“In terms of the severe outcomes, which is what we really care about, the news is fantastic,” said Dr. Aaron Richterman, an infectious disease specialist.

For life to return to normal, COVID-19 risk needs to downgrade to that of a typical virus, such as the flu. Now that the vaccine’s effectiveness is ensured, it’s just a matter of distributing it as widespread and quickly as possible. 

In December of 2020, President Joe Biden announced that he aims to administer 100 million COVID-19 vaccines into the arms of Americans in his first 100 days in office. 

“I know this doesn’t mean things will go back to normal right away,” said Paige Wellman, a junior, “but it’s reassuring that our president believes in science and is taking the necessary steps to make sure the virus gets under control.”

Both of Wellman’s grandparents recently received the vaccine; she expressed her gratitude at this opportunity. 

“I’m so happy they’re protected. I hope everyone gets to feel the same amount of relief as me as more and more people get the vaccine,” Wellman said.

According to the Atlantic, California reported a 20% decrease in hospitalizations over the past three weeks. Hospitalizations are falling across 36 states, with numbers holding steady in 12 other states.

Junior Ari Ravi discussed returning to normal life after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.

“I’m excited to go to sports games, parties, and basically any gathering,” Ravi said. “It may be far off, but the vaccine gives me hope.”

Despite the hopeful news, it’s still essential to stay precautious. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), urges Americans to keep protecting themselves and their peers.

“If you don’t want to shut down, at least do the fundamental, basic things — really the flagship of which is wearing a mask. If you… avoid congregate settings and crowds, and try to do things outdoors more than indoors, it makes a difference,” Fauci said. “It really, really does.”

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