Differences between vaccines explained
With inoculation programmes in full swing across the world, racing ahead in some countries, and slowly dragging in some, there is still a lot of vaccine hesitancy in the world. The amount of information coming in regarding Covid-19 can be overwhelming. In December 2020, there were at least 200 vaccines under development to fight the virus. Now, there are at least 8 vaccines that are being used across the world to protect people. Let’s learn a bit about the vaccines being used across the world.
Oxford-AstraZeneca: This vaccine has the highest global reach so far.
How is it made: This vaccine is made from a version of a common cold virus known as an adenovirus, from chimpanzees. It’s modified to contain genetic material shared by the coronavirus. This vaccine doesn’t cause the illness but instructs the body how to fight it.
Recommended dosage: Two .5ml doses which are administered intramuscularly. The interval between two doses can be about 8 to 12 weeks. There is ongoing research on what’s the optimum wait period between the two doses.
Efficacy: This vaccine has an efficacy rate of 63.09% against Covid-19.
Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine:
How does it work: This is an mRNA vaccine. mRNA vaccines teach our cells how to make a protein that will trigger an immune response. These vaccines don’t use the live virus which causes Covid-19. It helps our bodies make antibodies that will help us fight the infection if the real virus does enter our body in the future. Since no actual virus is needed to create the vaccine, it can be produced at an accelerated rate.
Recommended Dosage: Two doses are required. Each dose is .5ml and is injected into the arm. The second dose is given a month after the first one. It takes about 2 weeks to develop significant protection against COVID-19.Based on studies in about 30,000 participants, the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine was 94.1% effective in preventing COVID-19 beginning 2 weeks after the second dose.
Efficacy: The vaccine’s phase three results have shown vaccine efficacy against the disease as 94.1%, and vaccine efficacy against severe Covid-19 as 100%.
Where is it being manufactured: Most of the vaccine is produced at the company’s base in Cambridge, Massachusetts and also in Indiana.
Fun fact: Singer Dolly Parton was a major funder for Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine. The singer donated $1 million dollars to Vanderbilt University Medical Center to help fund the vaccine research.
Pfizer: Pfizer Inc. is an American multinational pharmaceutical and biotechnology corporation. The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 mRNA vaccine
Dosage: The vaccine is given by injection (0.3 mL) into the muscle of the arm. For the vaccine to work best, you need to get 2 doses: a single dose and then a second dose 21 days later.
Clinical studies showed that beginning 1 week after the second dose, the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID vaccine was:
Pfizer and Moderna, manufactured in the United States have not received FDA approval yet. Many people who are hesitant to get vaccinated have said that they will get vaccinated if the jabs are approved. Currently, the vaccines have been approved under Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA). The EUA is effective until the pandemic eases and the situation gets better. The EUA always comes into force in the interest of public health. The FDA can revoke the EUA at any time. An FDA spokesperson said
“The vaccines met FDA’s rigorous scientific standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality needed to support emergency use authorization. The FDA can assure the public and the medical community that we have conducted a thorough evaluation of the available safety, effectiveness and manufacturing quality information for every vaccine authorized and that efforts to speed vaccine development have not sacrificed scientific standards or the integrity of our vaccine evaluation process.”