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Updates on the COVID-19 Vaccine

In this segment of So Informed, we talked with Techpreneur Yobie Benjamin about the current status of the vaccine for COVID-19

Yobie Benjamin won the 2015 Technology Pioneer award from the World Economic Forum (best known as the Davos Conference) and has produced testing kits, broken down the differences between PCR testing which is collected by swabbing specimen from individuals and the antibody testing by drawing blood.

COVID-19 cases are still rising and frontliners are getting overworked, and everyone has been wondering when will the vaccine be available. Yobie gives us updates on the progress of the vaccines that are being worked on. According to him, there are two companies in the US that produced vaccines with more than 90% effectivity rate: Pfizer and Moderna.

Yobie mentions that the real challenges with the vaccines are the transport and distribution of vaccines. He explains that vaccines need to be stored in ultra-cold temperatures which could be a big problem in transportation and storage.

Jannelle asks Yobie how soon are these vaccines going to be available to the public. “Vaccines do not stop the Corona Virus, vaccination does,” Yobie clarifies. There are a few challenges in getting everyone vaccinated: first is getting people to agree to get vaccinated. Second is difficulty in transporting and storing these vaccines. Third is the ‘demand vs. supply’ of the vaccines.

When Jannelle asks Yobie if he’s going to get vaccinated once it becomes available, he says “I have no fear of the vaccine as long as it is properly vetted, tested and recommended by the scientific and public health community.”

Yobie explains that this prolonged pandemic is caused by not having a national strategy to fight the virus. But now that Biden is elected as president of the USA, Yobie thinks that in the next few months, the cases of COVID-19 will decrease significantly.

Yobie concludes the interview by saying that “the solution to this(pandemic) relies on everybody working together and observing the simple rules.”

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