Two Years on the Covid Vaccine: Looking Back and Looking Forward

Wednesday marks the second anniversary of the United States’ first Covid vaccination.

Already 300,000 people had died from Covid the day the first injection entered the arms of a nurse in Queens, New York.

That number rose to 800,000 Covid victims on December 14, 2021, as the campaign to vaccinate everyone slowly unfolded.

Now, as vaccines increase, the death toll has plummeted, but Covid remains a concern, as does the appetite for the latest vaccinations.

Dr. Taylor Heald-Sargent is in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Lurie Children’s Hospital.

“I remember seeing the first graphs showing how incredible the protection against severe disease from mRNA vaccines was, and it was unprecedented,” she said.

A rapidly developed shot to defeat a hitherto little known virus, SARS-CoV-2.

“I have to admit, I was a bit of a pessimist,” said Heald-Sargent. “I didn’t expect the timeline to be this rapid. But it was unprecedented for a vaccine to work so quickly.”

A global threat has turned into a global collaboration. But vaccine updates always seem to be a step behind as variants of the original virus emerge.

One of the things that hinders scientific progress is that people continue to live their lives.

“Because we were masking and excluding other infections like the flu, we were able to run the tests and do everything in a vacuum, so it was more of a challenge to actually target that one infection. It was easy,” says Heald-Sargent.

Covid, flu and RSV have taken many people to the hospital this year.

“Now we’re seeing a lot of different types of infectious diseases, and there are different vaccine candidates on the market.” I think what we’ve learned is a lesson on how to do things efficiently.”

The most effective vaccines currently in development are combined influenza and Covid vaccines. And perhaps protection that doesn’t involve shots at all and instead uses nasal sprays to keep Covid at bay.

“Well, there’s been some progress in other countries, and we’re getting closer to what other countries are doing. So far, trials in the US and Europe aren’t at the stage where we’re going to see nasal sprays anytime soon. It’s working…on top of that,” said Heald-Sargent.

And health experts are still working to keep people safe and on board.

“If you don’t do it for others, at least do it for yourself. No one wants to get seriously ill,” said Heald-Sargent. Rather than becoming, it means that the immune system is doing what it should have been trained in how to respond to that pathogen.”

None of the vaccines have the ability to completely prevent infection or stop the spread of Covid to others. is shown many times. Two Years on the Covid Vaccine: Looking Back and Looking Forward

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