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Illustration by Afra Almazrouei

The Brief: Corona at Your Door

From side effects of coronavirus vaccines to plans for their distribution, The Gazelle brings you the latest Covid-19 news.

By the Numbers: Cases and Deaths
Note: North America Cases and Deaths now includes the United States. All case and death statistics are derived from WHO and ECDC. For more information about coronavirus cases around the world and interactive maps, visit Our World in Data.
So Many Vaccines
Sinopharm, the Chinese pharmaceutical giant, has given its emergency-use vaccine to almost a million people. Sinopharm claims that there have been no reported cases of serious side effects and only a few cases with mild symptoms. Chairman Liu Jingzhen explained that the vaccine had been given to construction workers, diplomats and students, with 56,000 of those vaccinated traveling overseas and none reporting infections.
Pfizer announced the conclusion of Phase 3 of their coronavirus vaccine trials, claiming that the vaccine is 95 percent effective at preventing infection. Pfizer and its German counterpart BioNTech are applying for emergency authorization for the vaccine, as public health officials, scientists and politicians debate the success of United States President Trump’s approach to the novel coronavirus.
Moderna also announced promising results for its coronavirus vaccine, with a 94.5 percent effectiveness. Some side effects have been made public, such as fatigue, muscle aches, joint ache and pain or redness at the injection site. Moderna claims that the side effects were short-lived.
With the arrival of the vaccines, the world is now scrambling to prepare for their distribution. Pfizer's vaccine needs to be deep frozen, which poses problems for developing countries and rural areas. Moderna’s vaccine, on the other hand, can be stored in the freezers typically used in pharmacies, and even in refrigerators. However, it is likely that, in comparison to Pfizer's, fewer doses of Moderna’s vaccine will be available next year. Pfizer is planning to ship 1.3 billion doses by next year, leaving the world scrambling to find enough dry ice for its transportation. Dr. Jarbas Barbosa, assistant director of the Pan American Health Organization said, “The rural and the urban areas in any country in the world are not ready to manage this vaccine today.”
“So who is prepared in the world? No one,” claims Barbosa.
Canada has begun to take steps to address this issue, purchasing more than 100 new freezers to store vaccines. A spokesperson for Public Services and Procurement Canada claimed that they have the storage capacity for 33.5 million vaccines. Canada has already made advance purchase deals with Pfizer and Moderna for 20 million doses each.
This article is a collaborative effort by The News Desk. Email them at
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