Good News: Needle-free Vaccines Expected

Most people waited in anxious anticipation for COVID-19 vaccines and breathed a huge sigh of relief when they finally arrived. So far, more than 15 percent of American adults are fully vaccinated, and 28 percent have had at least one shot. That’s great news! The more people who are vaccinated, the safer everyone becomes. But some people who want a vaccine and believe that they are safe and effective are still hesitant because of another fear: needles.

There’s good news for them! Soumya Swaminathan, the World Health Organization’s chief scientist, has said that six to eight vaccines might be ready for review by the end of the year. Some of them don’t require an injection and can be stored at room temperature! That is a boon for people who can’t face a needle. Lots of people don’t like injections. They look away, close their eyes, hold their breath and just get through it. For others, that’s not possible.

We’re thrilled with the vaccines that we have,” said Dr. Swaminathan. But “we can improve further,” she said. “I think, well into 2022, we’re going to see the emergence of improved vaccines.”

While the government has sworn we will have enough shots for everyone by May 1, some people may pass on it because of the needle. Moreover, the variants mean we may need more options and boosters. And, of course, in a pandemic, we need shots globally, not just here in the U.S. These new vaccines could be applied through nose sprays, orally or as a patch on the skin. Right now, more than 80 vaccines are in the works, but many are in the very early stages of testing and won’t be anywhere near completion by the end of the year. Plus, there’s no promise that they will prove safe or effective. These ones are the ones that are promising and further along in their testing.

Only 122 out of 195 countries have started vaccinating people. There just aren’t enough vaccines being produced. Manufacturers cannot keep up with demand. As the variants from other countries show, we won’t be safe until every nation has COVID-19 under control. Even though we’re doing quite well and vaccinating people more rapidly than expected, we need to root for other countries as well.

We have to wait and see how this plays out. In the meantime, if you are willing to get the vaccine, you are eligible and your doctor has not advised you against it, go and get it. It is the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones. Per the CDC guidelines, it will let you enjoy things like seeing your family indoors, hugging your family members and going into stores with less worry. The sooner we are vaccinated, the sooner we can get back to our everyday lives!

Banner image: CDC

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