Sunday, December 5, 2021

Vaccines over time have protected our health

Vaccines to curb the impact of COVID-19 have saved many lives and protected the earth of the world.

Memory reminds me that vaccines of many varieties have been part of our family heritage. From the polio vaccine to the COVID-19 vaccine, we have learned that vaccines will protect our lives.

I remember clearly being vaccinated for polio while I was attending Magnuson School, now the home of the Newry Town Hall. I also remember getting the smallpox vaccine and as Judy and I began to raise a family, the chicken pox, Swine Flu, regular flu vaccines, H1N1 and the COVID vaccines were chosen to protect our health.

Looking on the Internet to learn more about vaccines, we see from Wikipedia research that polio vaccines are vaccines used to prevent poliomyelitis (polio).

I vividly remember getting the polio shot and also getting an oral polio vaccine through a sugar cube developed by Albert Sabian.

The first successful demonstration of a polio vaccine was by Hilary Koprowski in 1950, with a live attenuated virus which people drank. The vaccine was not approved for use in the United States but was used successfully elsewhere.

An inactivated polio vaccine, developed a few years later by Jonas Salk, came into use in 1955.

During this time of worry and concern over the coronavirus COVID-19, polio victim Linda Christianson of Blooming Prairie has some words of encouragement.

She believes that things will only get better when we "stay positive and hopeful," and when we follow the guidance given to us about social distancing, about washing our hands and about wearing protective masks.

Linda was an infant, 6 1/2 months old, when she became sick with polio.

Polio was quite devastating in the early 1950s. Linda recalls "getting in line" with her sister and many others to get her polio vaccine in 1955.

Interviewed at the beginning of the pandemic in March of 2020, Linda said she thought it was important that a vaccine or vaccines be developed to tackle the coronavirus.

Americans have been getting three different varieties of COVID vaccine starting late last year: Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson.

Wikipedia says that the smallpox vaccine was the first vaccine to be developed against a contagious disease. In 1796, the smallpox vaccine was the first vaccine to be developed against a contagious disease. In 1796, the British doctor Edward Jenner demonstrated that an infection with the relatively mild cowpox virus conferred immunity against the deadly smallpox virus.

The smallpox vaccine was the shot that left a permanent mark on your upper left arm.

The World Health Organization conducted a global vaccination campaign that eradicated smallpox.

I recall getting shots for H1N1 and for the Swine flu. I know of one woman getting gianne beret syndrome from the swine flu shot.

Let's fast forward to the three vaccines that are being used to combat the dreaded coronavirus.

Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine: The German company BioNTech is the developer of the vaccine, and partnered for support with clinical trials, logistics and manufacturing with American company Pfizer, stated comments from Wikipedia.

Clinical trials began in April 2020 for the Pfizer vaccine. It is given by intramuscular injection. Clinical trials continued into November with the vaccine having an efficacy of 91.3 percent.

Moderna COVID-19 vaccine was developed by the United States National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAD). On Dec.18, 2020, an emergency use authorization was given to Moderna by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine was developed by Janssen Vaccines, Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Johnson and Johnson.

The vaccine started clinical trials in June 2020, with Phase III trials involving around 43,000 people. In late January, Janssen announced that 28 days after a completed vaccination, the vaccine was 66% effective in a one-dose regimen in preventing symptomatic COVID-19, with an 85% efficacy in preventing severe COVID-19 and 100% efficacy in preventing hospitalization or death caused by COVID-19.

More COVID-19 vaccines are expected to be developed. If you have a chance to get a COVID vaccination, don't even hesitate, get it.

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