WASHINGTON, D.C. —  You’ve heard a lot of talk about COVID-19 vaccinations. Many experts say that a vaccine is the only way for life to get back to normal and scientists have been working at what feels like a record pace to develop one.

According to the Centers For Disease Control there are currently five different vaccines that are currently planning large-scale clinical trials or have those clinical trials in progress:

  • AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine
  • Janssen’s COVID-19 vaccine
  • Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine
  • Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccine
  • Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine​

Maryland-based Novavax will begin Phase 3 clinical trials in the United States and Mexico by the end this month.

Singer Dolly Parton famously donated a $1 million toward the research that developed Moderna’s vaccine. The New England Journal of Medicine even mentioned Parton in the footnotes of an article about the vaccine. So far, it looks as if Moderna’s vaccine is about 95% effective.

Pifzer has likewise claimed about a 95% effective rate with the vaccine it is developing with the German company BioNTech.

AstraZeneca’s vaccine has shown an average 70% effectiveness in tests so far. 

Three Types of Vaccines

There are three basic types of vaccines:

Vector vaccines – these vaccines contain weak versions of a live virus.

Protein subunit vaccines – these vaccines use include harmless proteins from the virus. 

mRNA vaccines – these vaccines contain material from the virus that instructs your own cells how to make a harmless protein that is unique to the virus.

When Will a Vaccine Be Available?

Operation Warp Speed is in place to help fast-track a vaccine as quickly as possible. Most vaccines take more than a decade to be approved. The goal is to have a COIVD-19 vaccine for adults available by the end of 2020.

The vaccine would likely not be widely available until sometime in 2021. Further studies would be needed to ensure a vaccine is safe for children.