The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted society in many ways during the last 18 months, including the reunions with loved ones, such as family members and friends. This situation is particularly difficult when international travel is involved because travel restrictions are in place in the vast majority of the countries to avoid not only the dissemination of SARS-CoV-2 but also, the introduction of new variants.
Despite the concerns on the surge of delta variant, it has been demonstrated that some of the vaccines that have been approved show effectiveness against this new strain of SARS-CoV-2. To cite an example, it was published recently in the New England Journal of Medicine (DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa2108891), that the full regimen of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has approximately 88% of effectiveness against delta variant of SARS-CoV-2, while the full regimen of the AstraZeneca vaccine showed approximately 67% of effectiveness. However, these values decrease significantly when the vaccination regimen is not complete. In terms of the delta variant, a single dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine offers 36% of effectiveness against symptomatic disease, while one jab of AstraZeneca offers 30%.
Therefore, now more than ever is important to receive a full vaccination regimen since new SARS-CoV-2 variants are surging more and more rapidly. This is the only way we have to contribute to decreasing the impact of the pandemic and to speed up the opening of borders of the countries, in order to be able to reencounter with our loved ones.
In Acceler8 Clinical Research we are committed to helping in this regard by getting vaccinated as soon as it is available in our countries or regions. Some of our team members have been already vaccinated and here is one of their thoughts.
COVID-19 has affected every person, in every country, in every corner of the World and it will be the century defining event which will be talked about for generations to come. The restrictions on our freedom of movement, the mask wearing, the checking in to shops and restaurants, the limits on social gatherings, it has all been an enormous shift in our human psyche and has tested us to our mental health limits. However, wherever there is darkness, there are always glimmers of light and that light in the COVID-19 era comes in the form of clinically trial approved vaccines. The speed with which these vaccines have been developed, trialled and approved is truly ground-breaking and could form revised frameworks for improving patient access to the very best medicines in the years that follow. Is there risk? Of course there is, life isn’t life without some risk, however, these vaccines offer a route towards the light and to be able to see friends, family and the world once more. For someone who hasn’t hugged my family and friends from my home country in over two years now, the vaccine is a no-brainer because it puts me a step closer to getting on that plane again. The ever improving mass of data the world is collecting on the vaccine roll-out gives further reassurance with every day and every jab that passes.
Here in Singapore, the vaccination process is as slick and as professional as you would expect from such a fine country. The booking process online is easy and quick and upon arrival I am waiting just a few seconds before being asked to check in to answer some general questions. Following the check in, it was 20 paces to the nearest open curtain, friendly, shield-covered, faces guiding you every step of the way. Behind the curtain was the vaccinator who double checked the important details and asked which arm I wanted it in. Within a couple of minutes it was done, pain free, small plaster on top of the jab site, and I was sat on the other side of the curtain (socially distanced of course) for my 30 mins of observation resting time. It’s surprising how quickly you can zip through 30 minutes on the phone, and once I was called up to check out, a printout confirming vaccination, a bottle of hand-sanitiser and a friendly good-bye later and I was on my way home.
Every jab is another glimmer of light, another step towards the World we once knew and lived in. Every jab is a step closer to hugging loved ones and exploring the countries we want to yet again. And crucially of all, every jab gives us all more protection against this horrendous disease.
– Acceler8 Team Member