4 vaccines are now available internationally:
- Johnson and Johnson
The first 2 vaccines have been approved in Canada, and shipments have been arriving in Canada. They are mRNA vaccines. A third vaccine the Astra Zeneca vaccine will likely get approval in Canada in the next month.
mRNA vaccines (94-95% effective) teach our cells to make the COVID viral Spike protein. The vaccine containing the mRNA is injected and the process begins. The mRNA is translated by our cells into a protein, and mRNA is destroyed by the body. The mRNA that we receive cannot be altered to DNA (cellular genetic material) as there is no enzyme (another protein) that can convert this RNA into cell genetic material. This means there is no mechanism by which the vaccine can alter human DNA (our genetic material) that could potentially cause future disease.
The next 2 vaccines are similar; they are DNA vaccines using different viruses as a vector (a way to transmit information to cells). DNA is less fragile than RNA and the viral external protein coat protects the genetic material inside. Vaccine storage is easier.
Uses inactivated Chimpanzee cold virus (It cannot make copies of itself). DNA code is injected into virus. When that is injected into a person this DNA gets converted to an mRNA template that codes for the spike protein. Vaccine effectiveness to date is 70+%
Johnson and Johnson Vaccine
This might be a game changer. Only ONE dose is required Storage is at 2-4C (regular refrigerator temperature) for up to 3 months. A gene (coding for Covid Spike protein) is added to an adenovirus that affects humans. Once injected, the virus can enter a cell but cannot divide (like Oxford-AstraZeneca). The injected virus DNA codes for mRNA that provides a template to make the spike protein.
BIG NEWS: Pfizer is now beginning testing vaccine on 12 -15 year olds. This data will become available in 6 or more months.
COVID-19 Virus Mutations
Replication of the virus across the world is very frequent and rapid. There are two known variants:
- B117. British virus
- 501Y.V2. South African virus
Both of these new variants have mutations in common. The South African has a second mutation to the spike protein. With rapid replication this variant may produce more mutations -and that may affect the vaccines effectiveness against the spike protein in the future. This is a driving reason for vaccines to be rolled out as soon as possible.
Should this become a problem, we can easily “recode” (make changes) to the mRNA to adapt the vaccine to the new viral types..
A recent Study in Texas has shown the mRNA vaccines present have the same level of effectiveness against the new mutations, as the original (we call it “wild” virus). Vaccine effectiveness studies against the viral mutations are ongoing in various laboratories in the world.
Vaccine information: check out this site for great info on COVID vaccine, It is updated regularly.
Vaccine Adverse Events
Every vaccine has been given CONDITIONAL APPROVAL in Canada. This means that each company must continue to monitor the population vaccinated and report on any adverse events.
Serious adverse events are low: 0.5% for the available mRNA vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna). Similar results are being reported for the Oxford vaccine. I will deal with anaphylaxis separately.
Minor side effects:
- 80% of vaccinated individuals had a sore arm
- Symptoms such as headache, fatigue, muscle aches are similar to symptoms noted with other vaccines like influenza vaccine.
Anaphylaxis (serious life threatening reaction):
- The frequency of these reactions is very low, 1/100,00
- It appears to have occurred in individuals with hypersensitivity issues and significant allergies.
Contraindications to Vaccine
Allergy to Peglyte - Speak to our medical team if you have further questions.
Why everyone should be vaccinated
If you have concerns about getting the vaccine, speak with our team. We will speak more about immunizing advice for individuals with specific medical conditions in the following Help Me Rhonda bulletins.
- 1 out of 13 people affected by COVID require hospitalization.
- 3 out of every 100 COVID patents die
- COVID has killed more People in Canada in 10 months than influenza does yearly.
- Even individuals with mild infection, are experiencing longer term complications of COVID infections such as debilitating fatigue, cardiac, respiratory, cognitive complications etc.