Are you getting a coronavirus vaccine? 
By Walter Sorochan Emeritus Professor San Diego State University

Posted January 2, 2021;  Disclaimer

If you are like me, you may be hesitant in getting coronavirus vaccine. My hesitancy comes from remembering how the old flu' vaccines were made. These were made from dead virus parts or from a attenuated or weakened/disabled viruses that also had preservatives, stabilizers, surfactants, residuals and chemicals like toxic mercury. These old flu' vaccines did not work very well.

At the urging of my family, I reluctantly got my first flu' shot this spring in over five years. Now I face the thought of getting a coronavirus vaccine. To make my decision about getting coronavirus vaccine, I needed to understand how corona virus was different and safer than the old flu vaccine. I share this information with you.

The new coronavirus vaccine is made using an entirely new engineering technology compared to the old flu' vaccine. The coronavirus vaccine is much safer and more effective than the old flu' vaccine.  1   I am looking forward to getting a corona vaccine. And if it works for one disease, it has the potential to work for many diseases.

dna-and-rnaA quick review of coronavirus:  Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that can lead to respiratory illness, including Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). Coronaviruses are transmitted between animals and people and can evolve into strains not previously identified in humans. On January 7, 2020, a novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) was identified as the cause of pneumonia cases in Wuhan City, Hubei Province of China, and additional cases have been found in a growing number of countries. The prediction by virologists is that we can expect more new viruses in the future, so it is a good idea to learn as much we can about how to stop this pandemic and prepare for future viruses. 2  3

New Approach to Vaccines

Scientists have been experimenting with the human genetic code DNA and RNA since 1987. Unlike DNA that has a double strand, illustration   4   on right, RNA is a single-strand. DNA makes RNA that makes protein instructions.

RNA can switch certain genes and control other genes that affect diseases and health.  5  In 2013, researcher Feng Zhang reported success in identifying human genome that is made up of repeating proteins or sequences. Since then, scientists have been using an engineering tool, CRISPR, an abbreviation for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats, to identify the genetic code in humans, living organisms, bacteria and viruses. CRISPR is a family of DNA sequences [repetitions] that contain snippets [pieces] of DNA from viruses that attack human beings. These snippets can change genes within viruses. CRISPR is cheap, quick and easy to use tool that is being used to create vaccines against coronavirus.

CRISPR by Mayo Clinic Length = 1:38 mns.

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Another explanation of CRISPR is by Dr. Jennifer Doudna who won the Novel prize for her work with viruses; 15.53 minutes long: Doudna CRISPR

An example of a DNA snippet switch that can replace a small part or snippet of information in a virus:

dna2a

There are about a million places in the DNA/RNA called single single-nucleotide polymorphisms [SNPs] ["snips"].  Some persons will have a specific SNP while others may have a related different one. Such SNP differences provide biological variation between people. Those differences can, in turn, influence a variety of traits such as appearance, abilities, disease susceptibility or response to drugs.

mRNA: A New Approach to Medicine and Vaccines

Using mRNA as a medicine is a fundamentally different approach than treating disease with antibodies and drugs. mRNA is a set of instructions that cells in the body use to make proteins to prevent or fight disease. mRNA instruction is like software for the cell, telling body cells to make all specific proteins and send them to various parts of the body.  [CDC] COVID-19 mRNA vaccine gives instructions to body cells to make a harmless piece of "spike virus protein." The spike protein is found on the surface of the virus that causes COVID-19.

Two pharmaceutical companies, Pfizer and Moderna   6  7  have created vaccines; both use synthetic mRNA that contains information about the coronavirus’s signature spike protein.   8  The vaccines essentially work by sneaking in instructions that direct the body to produce a small amount of the spike protein. Once the immune system detects this protein, the body subsequently begins producing protective antibodies.

The benefit of mRNA vaccines: Antibodies work not just against the little bit of spike protein that was made following vaccination, but scientists hope that it will also recognize and stop the coronavirus from getting into our cells if we’re exposed in the future.  9  10  The vaccines don’t contain any part of the virus, so vaccine recipients can’t become infected from the shots. mRNA medical vaccines are sets of instructions that direct cells in the body to make proteins to prevent or fight disease. 

The USFDA has given emergency use authorization to Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine and Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.   11  Though neither company has reported any serious safety concerns so far with a small trial samples, scientists will continue to monitor participants in both trials over time.

Professor Seheult in the video below explains the difference between a third corona virus AstraZeneneca and Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

Prof Roger Seheult, AstraZeneneca DNA COVID-19 explained [from Oxford University] Length 14:11 minutes

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Conclusion .... all three vaccines will be improved in the coming months/years. Virologists are now aware that vaccines will be helped by the general public ingesting vitamin D and other nutrients before being infected as well as when they are in the hospital; which is discussed below. The current problem with all three vaccines is producing enough doses and distributing these dose vaccines to the 8 billion people in the world as soon as possible. The engineering technology will be perfected and applied to prevent other chronic diseases like diabetes, cancer and Alzheimer's disease in the future.

mRNA vaccines are a new type of vaccine to protect against infectious diseases. To trigger an immune response, many flu' vaccines put a weakened or inactivated germ into our bodies. But mRNA vaccines are different. Instead, they teach our cells how to make a protein, or even just a piece of a protein, that triggers an immune response inside our bodies. That immune response, which produces antibodies, is what should protect us from getting infected if the real virus enters our bodies.    

Keep in mind that it will take a few weeks for your body to build immunity after getting a COVID-19 vaccination. As a result, it's possible that during this time, you could become infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or after being vaccinated.

A Closer Look at How COVID-19 mRNA Vaccines Work   12  13  

COVID-19 mRNA vaccines give instructions for our cells to make a harmless piece of what is called the “spike protein.” The spike protein is found on the surface of the virus that causes COVID-19.

COVID-19 mRNA vaccines are given in the upper arm muscle. Once the instructions (mRNA) are inside the immune cells, the cells use them to make the protein piece. After the protein piece is made, the cell breaks down the instructions and gets rid of them.

Next, the cell displays the protein piece on its surface. Our immune systems recognize that the protein doesn’t belong there and begins to build an immune response and make antibodies, like what happens in natural infection against COVID-19.

At the end of the process, our bodies have learned how to protect against future infection. The benefit of mRNA vaccines, like all vaccines, is those vaccinated gain this protection without ever having to risk the serious consequences of getting sick with COVID-19.

The two emergency use authorization vaccines have some key differences that will likely affect who they are administered to and how they are distributed. Pfizer is 90% effective while Moderna is 94.1 % verified with small sample testing.

One of the main differences between the two vaccine candidates is how they are stored. Both require two doses, but Pfizer’s vaccine has to be stored at temperatures of minus 94 degrees Fahrenheit or colder. Moderna’s vaccine does not require ultra-cold storage and can remain stable at regular refrigeration levels — between roughly 36 to 46 degrees Fahrenheit — for 30 days.  14   

Below are videos providing more information about corona vaccine:

JAMA staff, "Corona Vaccines - An introduction, Length = 9:53 minutes

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Wall Street Journal, "How scientists are trying to develop coronavirus vaccine." Length = 4:17 minutes

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Corona vaccine is actually basic human biology.  15

DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) is a double-stranded molecule that stores the genetic instructions that your body’s cells need to make special proteins. Proteins, on the other hand, are the ‘workhorses’ of the body. Nearly every function in the human body – both normal and disease-related – is carried out by one or many proteins.

  1. Through a process known as transcription, an RNA copy of a DNA sequence for creating a given protein is made.
  2. This copy – mRNA – travels from the nucleus of the cell to the part of the cell known as the cytoplasm, which houses ribosomes. Ribosomes are complex machinery in the cells that are responsible for making proteins.
  3. Then, through another process known as translation, ribosomes ‘read’ the mRNA, and follow the instructions, creating the protein step by step. 
  4. The cell then expresses the protein and it, in turn, carries out its designated function in the cell or the body. 

Controversy about coronavirus vaccines16  The controversy about corona vaccines may make you skeptical about getting a corona vaccine. The information about vaccines would be one-sided or biased without also pointing out that there is controversy about the efficacy of the vaccines. In other words, we need to hear both sides and not just the American side of how good vaccines are.

“A close look at the research released by Pfizer and Moderna shows the studies haven’t actually tested whether the vaccines actually prevent transmission of the virus; the goal of the trials was to see whether vaccinated patients presented with Covid symptoms at a rate that was substantially less frequent than individuals who hadn’t been vaccinated.  17  

But Dr. Zuban Dumania, MD, a health advocate, has a great video that advocates getting a vaccine. He explains the three stages of clinical trials and how the three trials work.    18

Dr. Zuban Dumania, COVID vaccine, Length= 36.45 mns.

Source: Dumania 2020

But .... how about the body's other defense mechanisms that vaccine developers and hospital Intensive Care Units and medicine are slow to recognize and not take into consideration?

Something that has been overlooked in the battle against the virus is the use of nutrients like Vitamin D. Can vitamins help us? Yes these can. Homo sapiens evolved with exposure to sunlight on the skin surface, thereby  synthesizing vitamin D. Vitamin D plays a huge role in the immune system but a large part of the world population has very low levels of it. Many studies indicate that it plays a large role in handling a covid-19 infection. Taking Vitamin D won’t eliminate the problem alltogether but it can ease viral infection. The body skin synthesizes vitamin D from sunshine rays. The videos below give information  why vitamin D is important:

Dr. John Campbell, Message to world: Vitamin D is essential to fight coronavirus; Length = 5 minutes   19  20   
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Dr. Roger Seheult, MD, explains the importance of having high doses of vitamin D before and during coronavirus infection:

Prof Roger Seheult, Vitamin D & COVID19; Length = 1:00:23 hour

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You will get a very small amount of Vitamin D from your diet. But most of it is created by your body when your skin is exposed to sunshine. With modern lifestyle, we spend large part of our days indoors. Not getting as much sun on our skin causes our Vitamin D levels to go down. People with darker skin create vitamin D less quickly, because they are more highly protected against sun rays.

But the biggest natural protector against viral infection is a good diet like nutrient dense food that displaces the Standard American Diet [SAD] eaten by about 70 % of Americans.

Medical doctors and Public health agencies would do the general public a great service if we, the public, had immune lab tests to tell us our body immune status before getting a vaccine. For example, we already have a weak test to evaluate how much vitamin D we have in the body; but we also need a quick, simple and inexpensive test to determine the immune level in the body.

It has been this author's pleasure to share information about coronavirus vaccines and provide information so you can decide about getting a corona vaccine.

References:

1 Baden Lindsey R and others, "Efficacy and safety of the mRNA-1273 SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, " New England Journal of Medicine, December 30, 2020. Accessed from:  https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2035389

2 Tesini Brenda L., "Respiratory syndromes (COVID-19, MERS and SARS)," MSD Manual, December, 2020. https://www.msdmanuals.com/home/infections/respiratory-viruses/coronaviruses-and-acute-respiratory-syndromes-covid-19-mers-and-sars

3  "Novel Coronavirus, Wuhan, China.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  2019 Accessed from:  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html

4 Smartschool Academy, "RNA," Wordpress. https://smartschoolacademy.wordpress.com/rna/

5 Ghildiyal Megha and Phillip D. Zamore, "Small silencing RNAs: an expanding universe," NATuRE REVIEwS, GeNeticS February 2009. Accessed from: http://www.stanford.edu/class/cs173/papers/smallSilencingRNA.pdf Ghildiyal: RNA types & functions 2009

6 Hussey Colleen,"Moderna announces publication of results from pivotal phase 3 trial of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine in The New England Journal of Medicine, Maderna, December 31, 2020.  Accessed from:  https://investors.modernatx.com/news-releases/news-release-details/moderna-announces-publication-results-pivotal-phase-3-trial

7 Chow Denise, "Both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines use mRNA. So why does one need to be kept so much colder?" Yahoo! news,  November 17, 2020. https://news.yahoo.com/two-vaccines-one-piece-breakthrough-220843379.html

8 Chow (2020)

9 Chow (2020)

10 Hussey (2020)

11 CDC, "Understanding mRNA COVID-19 vaccines," CDC, December 18, 2020. Accessed from :   https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/different-vaccines/mrna.html

12 CDC (2020)

13 Chow (2020)

14 WHO, "How are vaccines developed," WHO, December 8, 2020. Accessed from:  https://www.who.int/news-room/feature-stories/detail/how-are-vaccines-developed

15 Chow (2020)

16 FitsNews staff, "World health organization's top scientist questions efficacy of covid-19 vaccines," FITSNEWS, December 29, 2020.  https://www.fitsnews.com/2020/12/29/world-health-organizations-top-scientist-questions-efficacy-of-covid-19-vaccines/

17 FitsNews (2020)

18 Dumania Zubian, Video  

19 Johan, Campbell John, "To all governments: advise vitamin D to your citizens during the covid-19 crisis," Vitamin D for covid-19, October 21, 2020. Accessed from: https://vitamindforcovid.com

20 Campbell John, "Vitamin D, First clinical trial," Corona vaccines technology, September  6, 2020.  Accessed from:  https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=corona+vaccines+technology&ru=%2fvideos%2fsearch%3fq%3dcorona%2bvaccines%2btechnology%26FORM%3dHDRSC3&view=detail&mid=B2EF17B56F5C580BB9D9B2EF17B56F5C580BB9D9&&FORM=VDRVRV"