By Annasis Kelly
People seem to be very careless about just how important this pandemic is so I will use the information presented from the 1918 Spanish Flu (or H1N1) Pandemic as a reference. Now that one has been dubbed as the worse pandemic in recent human history with amount of approximately 50 million people dying of the virus worldwide. With 500 million people contracting the disease which was approximately one-third of the population of the world at the time. In a comparison of the Covid-19 virus, we have, to date, 227,026,185 people worldwide who have been confirmed with having contracted the virus. The United States is on the way to having more dead with Covid-19 than they did have with the Spanish Flu, with 678,183 dead and 42,222,673 cases. The reported number of deaths in the US with the Spanish Flu is about 675,000, though the number generally sits at between 500,000 – 850,000 or 0.48-0.81% and 105 million cases or 25% of the population.
To put into perspective, India has a total population of 1,391,942,558 people, yet has 33,380,522 cases and 444,278 deaths due to Covid-19. The US has 331,449,281 people and has 42,222,673 cases and 678,183 deaths. India has fewer deaths and cases than America despite them being more than 1,000,000,000 more people. Yet has less, despite having more areas prone to having sickness being able to run rapidly because of the conditions there.
Australia fares better than other places in the majority of the pandemics that we have had over the past 100 odd years, currently sitting at 82,202 cases and 1,138 deaths. Most of the cases are in Victoria and NSW with 25,591 cases, 826 deaths and 49,611 cases and 276 deaths respectively. Most of these cases are internationally contracted.
Now back in 1918 we didn’t have the medical information we have now. But the absolute basic information was used back then, with masks, social distancing and isolations.
“A later study found that measures such as banning mass gatherings and requiring the wearing of face masks could cut the death rate up to 50 percent, but this was dependent on their being imposed early in the outbreak and not being lifted prematurely.” (Bootsma MC, Ferguson NM (May 2007). “The effect of public health measures on the 1918 influenza pandemic in U.S. cities.” (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 104 (18): 7588–93. Doi:10.1073/pnas.0611071104. PMC 1849868. PMID 17416677. S2CID 11280273).
In response to past pandemics, the scientific community had a calculation that it wasn’t a matter of if, but when the next pandemic was to hit, and sadly it hit in November 2019. So in preparation for this they had been developing a vaccine so when the time was right they were to be able to produce the vaccine and send it out in mass for the world. So all they needed to do was isolate the bit of information that was needed in order to create the vaccine. They have created a messenger to enter the cells via the RNA to address the issue. How that differs is; “Safety: Unlike live-attenuated or viral-vectored vaccines, mRNA is non-infectious and poses no concern for DNA integration – mainly because it cannot enter the nucleus which contains DNA. Other strategies such as protein-based or inactivated vaccines also require chemicals and cell cultures to produce. mRNA is made through a cell-independent process and does not require inactivation; thus, it poses no safety concerns due to contamination with toxic agents.” How does an mRNA vaccine compare to a traditional vaccine? (Vanderbilt Institute for Infection, Immunology and Inflammation). (https://t.co/KPGehAPYU2)
With the success of Covid-19 vaccines, the push for introducing the type of vaccine for the flu mRNA flu vaccines may face a sterner challenge than Covid-19.
The differences in how the vaccine was developed are why it seemed quicker to go from the lab to production. The fact that it is not reliant on live-attenuated or viral-vectored helps make the stages quicker. It is not dangerous because of this.
If you choose to not vaccinate that is your choice. I chose to vaccinate and have already received the first shot of Pfizer with a sore arm and currently a sore bump at the injection site. That is it. I do not feel ill in any manner.
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