The COVID-19 vaccine was created in 2020 in response to the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) virus.
The COVID-19 vaccine helps our bodies develop immunity to the virus that causes COVID-19 without getting the illness. Information provided about each vaccine below is from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Types of Vaccines
mRNA vaccines contain COVID-19 virus material that gives the body’s cells instructions to create a protein unique to the virus. After our cells copy this protein, they destroy the genetic material from the vaccine and recognize the protein should not be there. In response, they build T-lymphocytes and B-lymphocytes to remember how to fight the virus in the future. Protein subunit vaccines include harmless proteins of the virus instead of the entire germ. Our bodies recognize that the protein should not be there and build T-lymphocytes and antibodies to remember how to fight the virus.
Vector vaccines contain a modified version of a different virus than the one that causes COVID-19. The “viral vector” is the martial inside the shall of the modified virus that gives our cells instructions to make a protein unique to the virus. Then, our bodies make copies of the protein, prompting our bodies to make T-lymphocytes and B-lymphocytes that will remember how to fight the virus in the future.
What COVID-19 Vaccines are Available in the United States?
There are three types of COVID-19 vaccines in the United States.
The Pfizer-BioNTech (BNT162b2) vaccine is an mRNA vaccine that requires two doses, 21 days apart. According to clinical trial evidence, the Pfizer vaccine was 95% effective at preventing laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 illness.
The Moderna (mRNA-1273) vaccine is an mRNA vaccine that requires two doses, 28 days apart. According to clinical trial evidence, the Moderna vaccine was 94.1% effective at preventing laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 illness.
The Johnson & Johnson (JNJ-78436735) vaccine is a viral vector vaccine that requires one dose. The J&J vaccine was shown to be 66.3% effective in clinical trials.
Vaccination Rates by State
About 20.8% of the world’s population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. About 2.4 billion doses have been administered globally. In the United States, over 311 million doses have been administered as of mid-June 2021. with 145 people being fully vaccinated. This means about 44.2% of the population is fully vaccinated. In addition, about 52.10% of the U.S. has received at least one dose of the vaccine.
Vaccination rates vary significantly by state.
Vermont has the highest COVID-19 vaccination rate at almost 63% as of mid-June 2021. Vermont continues to close in on its 80% target vaccination rate and potential herd immunity. On the opposite end, only 28.49% of Mississippi residents are vaccinated, followed by Alabama with 30.62%.