I read Jon Cohen’s article, “Vaccines that can protect against many coronaviruses could prevent another pandemic” on the American Association for the Advancement of Science website. The article gets into the nitty-gritty of vaccine development. It focuses on the work of the international nonprofit Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) to develop a vaccine that would protect against a wide range of coronaviruses. The image above shows a gray nanoparticle carrier with different spike proteins that educate human immune systems against different kinds of coronaviruses, including the beta family of coronaviruses that included COVID (SARS-CoV-2) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).
In looking at per capita vaccination rates on the website Our World in Data, some countries are far ahead of others. As we’ve been reading in the news, Israel is the world leader with 119 doses administered per 100 people. I guess that means that everyone received one dose and now they are moving to the second dose for all citizens. The UK and US are in the next tier with 61 and 59 respectively. Other countries of interest to TIS are Canada and the EU (24), Turkey (23) China (13) Russia (10) India (8) and Australia (5). The site has data on Uzbekistan, coming in at 0.77 doses administered per 100 inhabitants.
The international vaccine available in Uzbekistan is AstraZeneca-Oxford. Insightful articles I found on this vaccine are as follows:
- “AstraZeneca Vaccine and Blood Clots: What is Known So Far” New York Times, April 10, 2021 (updated April 14)
- “Latest AstraZeneca Reports Supports Effectiveness of COVID Vaccine” National Public Radio, March 24, 2021
- “Interim Recommendations for use of Oxford University/AstraZeneca Vaccine Against COVID” World Health Organization, Feb 10, 2021
- “Vaccine-induced Immune Thrombotic Thrombocytopenia: Frequently Asked Questions” American Society of Hematology, April 16, 2021
Which vaccine should I take? The answer according to experts is the one available to me. The vaccine most likely to be available to TIS will be the AstraZeneca vaccine. Is AstraZeneca effective? Is AstraZeneca safe? My opinion on it is that it will keep me out of the hospital and alive if I am one of the unlucky people to contract COVID. The chances of serious side effects like blood clotting are “very rare” and according to the data, the chances of me dying from COVID greatly outweigh the chances of me dying from the side effects of the vaccine. Each individual will have to decide for themselves what to do and everyone has their unique personal circumstances. For me as the director of the school, the conversation in the international school world is about developing COVID vaccination policies. It will be fascinating to see the different approaches schools take on the subject. The big questions are balancing individual rights versus community protection, access to vaccines in a diverse community, vaccination databases, etc.