Which vax would you Tango with?

By Megan Brodie 3 years ago | In Comment, Vaccines
  • 3 years ago
British comedians Foil, Arms and Hog take a humorous look at vaccines. Image courtesy YouTube.

28 July 2021

Pharma is an intelligent industry, but if it were a person what would he/she be like? Smart, yes, maybe a bit socially awkward, conservative (absolutely!), bookish and happy with their own company but wanting to be seen as fun, inclusive and fashionable?

British comedians Foil, Arms and Hog have had a bit of fun looking at what the vaccines would be like if they were people.

In the YouTube video ‘Vaccines Throw a Party’, the trio personifies the various COVID-19 vaccines as being invited to a party by Pfizer. Except for the Chinese vaccines – apparently, Pfizer is still holding a grudge over not getting asked to their party. No surprises there.

While Pfizer is an American in a labcoat, AstraZeneca is portrayed as a stuffy Englishman who likes to “pace himself” between shots. Given this is the relatively new adenovirus vaccine made in England’s very own Oxford University and widely acclaimed to have saved the country, it is somewhat surprising it didn’t get a more glamorous persona, and I’m sure he should actually be a she.

Sputnik’s Cossack character, keen to get a dose of Pfizer “for the kids” fits the stereotype. Later when the WHO knocks on the door and Sputnik refuses to let them in is comedy gold. Would you get a dose of Sputnik if it was on offer? Thought not.

Janssen is an English lad complete with cap on backwards, “single and ready to mingle”. Not the way I would portray this one. She’d be American, for a start, and not so young. More classy too – this vaccine has also come from relatively new science.

As for Pfizer and Moderna, well, nailed them. Portraying Pfizer BioNTech as Simon and Garfunkle is also brilliant. Everyone knows the real ‘innovation’ here was BioNTech but they have been reduced to an afterthought due to a partnership with big pharma. Moderna, on the other hand, retained its mRNA technology and is now a top global brand as a result.

The problem with this clip, I found, was showing it to other people. You see, I find it hilarious (particularly when Pfizer has the aircon turned down and the other vaccines are freezing). My friends and family, however, found it not so funny. Don’t you get it? I ask eagerly. Pfizer needs to be stored at a lower temperature! Apparently not.

Covid has made all these vaccines household names and everyone has a view on which one they want. For me, I’m a fan of the tried-and-true – give me the recombinant version that was being developed by the University of Queensland or Novavax’s subunit vaccine any day. Sure, they may not be young and hip but I prefer a bit of life experience.

The mRNA vaccines, on the other hand, are the new kids on the block – but haven’t they shone. Everyone wants a dose of these funky hipsters. Not only have they outperformed their rivals in both speed of development and popularity, but they have also changed the future of vaccines. Plagues, it seems, may never wreak the same carnage on humanity again.

If the vaccines were at a party, I’d probably have chosen to tango with Novavax rather than hip hop with Pfizer, but few of us get a choice. If we are ever going to get out of this on-and-off House Party, we’re going to have to dance with whoever and whatever is on offer. For me, I’m just thankful it’s not Russian.

©MedNews 2021

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