ARKANSAS (KNWA/KFTA) — The push is on to find a vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 — the virus causing COVID-19.

One vaccine has been approved: Sputnik V. It was the first registered vaccine by the Russian Ministry of Health on August 11, 2020. However, the World Health Organization puts the Sputnik V vaccine in Phase 1 of clinical trials.

“In 1957 the successful launch of the first space satellite by the Soviet Union reinvigorated space research around the world. The new Russian COVID-19 vaccine is therefore called Sputnik V.”

Sputnik V is a adenoviral vector-based vaccine. Here’s how it works: “Vectors are vehicles, which can induce a genetic material from another virus into a cell. The gene from adenovirus, which causes the infection, is removed while a gene with the code of a protein from another virus spike is inserted. This inserted element is safe for the body but still helps the immune system to react and produce antibodies, which protect us from the infection,” according to Sputnik V’s website.

In the United States, Operation Warp Speed (OWS), led by Health and Human Services (and its subsidiaries), brings together several agencies, such as the Department of Agriculture, Department of Energy, Veterans Affairs, and private firms. OWS has spent about $10 billion to help vaccine makers develop a product and deliver 300 million safe doses by January 2021.

Within OWS, about two dozen bio-pharmaceutical companies have joined the National Institutes of Health (NIH) are working on developing a vaccine and finding candidates to test the product.

Who is in charge of OWS?:

  • HHS Secretary Alex Azar and Defense Secretary Mark Esper oversee OWS
  • Dr. Moncef Slaoui designated as the chief advisor 
  • General Gustave F. Perna nominated to be a chief operating officer

Through OWS, the government has funded three companies for Phase 3 trials: Moderna mRNA-1273, University of Oxford and AstraZeneca AZD1222, and Pfizer and BioNTech’s BNT162.

Moderna mRNA-1273. The vaccine was co-developed by the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based biotechnology company Moderna and NIH and started Phase 3 in late July. Enrollment is expected to reach 30,000 adult volunteers who do not have COVID-19. The clinical research sites will be at approximately 89 locations in the US. This is a double-blind trial, which means neither investigators nor participants know if they’re getting a placebo or the vaccine.

AstraZeneca/University of Oxford AZD1222. This clinical trial was briefly paused on September 8 to investigate if a volunteer had an adverse reaction as a result of the vaccine. On September 12, a review board determined it was safe to resume injecting participants. So far, 18,000 people have received the AZD1222 vaccine, with a total enrollment goal of 50,000. The trials are happening in the US, UK, S Africa, Brazil, and will include Japan and Russia.

Pfizer/BioNTech BNT162. The company’s goal is to have a regulatory review by October for its BNT162b2 version. There are up to 30,000 participants for this trial, ages 18-85 years and it started in the US, but the plan is to have 120 sites around the world. The companies combined Phase 2 and 3 on July 27. BNT162b2, recently received U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Fast Track designation. “During preclinical and clinical studies of four BNT162 RNA vaccine candidates, BNT162b1 and BNT162b2 emerged as strong candidates based on assessments of safety and immune response,” Pfizer stated.


The question was simple: Would you get a COVID-19 vaccination if it became available by the end of 2020? Yes. No. Why, or why not?

Nearly 300 people responded with a majority saying, “No.” Here are some responses.

  • No way. Anything put out by this administration FDA or CDC is not transparent or objective so that’s a hard pass for me and my family.
  • No. I refuse to take one. I have tried the flu shots an they made me sick both times. I will take my chances. They r still learning.
  • Based on the information coming from the FDA and the manufacturers yes. I see no reason not to. But I’m not one to get sick so even if there are effects from it I don’t think I’d feel them.
  • That’s a hard no, because vaccine manufacturers have no liability (no incentive to make it safe and effective, just the incentive to make it profitable).
  • Yes both my husband and I look forward to having the vaccine.
  • No!!! Because the are rushing the results and they don’t care if it has any side effects as long as they get a shot out there.
  • Absolutely not. Let the politicians pushing for it try it first. Wait a few years and see how safe it is.
  • NO! Not during this mafia boss’s administration! He orders the FDA & CDC to alter data to fit his LIES!
  • No way. There needs to be years of testing. I’m not a Guinea pig!
  • That’s a big NO. I like the idea of testing it on the members of Congress before unleashing it on civilians.
  • No do all politicians 1st ..I am still not won’t do flu shot not doing COVID either.
  • Nope, not a chance. Too many unknowns around side effects, both short and long term, how effective it would be, etc. I am in no way an ‘anti-vaxxer’, but such a new vaccine with little to no time to test, no thanks.
  • Yes. I thought it would probably be about a year when this started and it will be. It was elsewhere before the US.
  • No! I am not about to be a test person or putting a chemical that is not well studied or well established into my body.
  • No!!!! It takes years for vaccines to be considered “good” even then I still do not trust it I’m pretty sure we will see or hear of ppl who take this and die from it. No way can they make a vaccine in just a short amount of months that will be “safe.”
  • No no no. definitely no too many side effects and they’re trying so hard to push that stuff out so quick.
  • No! They will not know long term side effects! 
  • No. And because we’ve known about this virus for a year.
  • No… but glad it will be out for those that want it or have underlying conditions.
  • Yes, because I’m a dentist and I’m exposed to people in very close proximity all the time.
  • Yes, if the proper scientists backed it.
  • No. Not until the side effects come to light.
  • Nope! Rushed vaccines are too risky, and there is WAAAAY too much politically involved for me to trust it.
  • Yes, whatever drugs they want to give me, I will be happy to inject them, so I can gleefully join the Class Action Suit this time next year.
  • And this answer: Don’t answer that, it’s a way for them to track down the ones who refuse to take it.

WHO announced the novel coronavirus a pandemic in mid-March, 2020. As of Monday, September 14, there are 29,136,553 global cases and 6.5 million cases in the US. Global deaths are at 925,820 according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.

In Arkansas, 399 new cases were announced for Monday, 986 overall deaths and 62,740 recoveries, according to the Arkansas Department of Health.