"So there are two vaccines out there for COVID-19 in the United States. One by Pfizer, the other by Moderna. But there's another manufacturer, AstraZeneca, developing one, in the UK. Now it has already seeked approval and gotten it in the UK, but it may take a few more weeks or a few more months before it gets approval here in the US. So what are the key differences between the AstraZeneca vaccine and the ones by Pfizer and Moderna? Storage. Now, one of the key issues when you have a vaccine is, how do you store it and transport it and at what temperature? The Pfizer vaccine has to be stored at around -112 degrees Fahrenheit to -76 degrees Fahrenheit. The Moderna vaccine has to be stored between -13 degrees Fahrenheit and five degrees Fahrenheit. And this means both these vaccines need special refrigeration units to store them and to transport them. On the other hand, the AstraZeneca vaccine can be stored around 36 to 46 degrees Fahrenheit. This means it could be stored in a regular refrigerator. Big deal. Cost. Now, if you're in the United States, the cost of the vaccine will be paid for by the government. So no worries. But for the sake of knowledge, you should know the Pfizer vaccine costs about $20 per dose. The Moderna vaccine costs between $32 and $37 per dose, but there is a big difference. The AstraZeneca vaccine is far cheaper. It will cost around $3 to $4 per dose. In fact, the company has actually stated that it will actually sell the vaccine at cost and make no profit. The combination of low cost and easier storage makes it more ideal for poorer developing countries. And that's why they're placing large orders for it. How it works. Now, the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines represent a new technology in the form of mRNA vaccines. The AstraZeneca vaccine is a virus vector vaccine. On the outside of every virus is something called spike proteins. Now y'all have probably seen pictures of the COVID-19 virus, those little spikes going around it. Those are the spike proteins. Well, when you gain immunity to a virus via either infection or vaccine, the spike protein is what you gain actual immunity to. So this vaccine does not contain any of the actual COVID virus. Rather, it injects you with a sequence of DNA that makes your cells, yes, your cells, make the spike protein itself. So they take an adeno virus that typically causes cold-like symptoms in chimpanzees. Then they weaken it, making it unable to replicate itself. Then inside the virus itself, they place a new segment of DNA, essentially new genes. Once you take the vaccine, the adeno virus goes to your cell and injects that DNA sequence into your cell, which then goes into your nucleus, which houses your own DNA. Now remember, this sequence of DNA from the virus does not incorporate into your DNA at all. Once in the nucleus, it gets translated into mRNA, messenger RNA, which then goes to the ribosome, which is the protein factory of the cell, where the ribosome makes the spike protein of the COVID-19 virus. Then that spike protein goes outside of the cell. Once the spike protein is displayed outside of the cell, that's when your body has an immune response and you gain immunity to it."
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