With the health of the world population at stake, scientists, pharmaceutical companies, and governments rushed into developing a vaccine against the Covid-19 virus. Large sums of money were invested in vaccine research and development.
Within a year, vaccine developers in the US, United Kingdom (UK), Germany, China, Sweden, and Russia have managed to develop and obtain clearance for their vaccines’ emergency use.
The vaccines in the market are Pfizer-BioNTech, Sputnik V, Johnson & Johnson, Sinopharm, Sinovac, Moderna and OOxford-AstraZeneca. All vaccines approved by the NPRA are safe and efficacious.
1. Pfizer-BioNTech (US, Germany)
Sold at US$19.50 per dose, under the brand name Comirnaty, the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine is an mRNA vaccine developed by German company BioNTEch in cooperation with Pfizer.
It was the first vaccine authorised for emergency use in December 2020 and subsequently cleared for regular use. In its Phase III trials, it demonstrated 95 per cent efficacy.
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine requires storage at about -80 to -60 degrees Celsius, which requires specialised freezers. Pfizer and BioNTech are manufacturing the vaccine in their facilities in the US and in Europe.
The vaccination requires two doses given by intramuscular injection, given three weeks (21 days) apart.
2. Sputnik V (Russia)
Developed by the Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, Sputnik V is a viral vector vaccine.
The vaccine is reported to demonstrate 91.6 per cent efficacy without unusual side effects.
Sputnik V is considerably cheaper than its Western competitors and does not require the same sort of ultracold storage infrastructure that would complicate the Pfizer vaccine distribution in much of the developing world.
Sold at no more than US$10 per dose, the vaccination requires two doses given by intramuscular injection given two weeks (14 days) apart. It requires storage at -20 degrees Celsius.
3. Johnson & Johnson (US)
The Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine is a viral vector vaccine developed by Janssen Vaccines, a Dutch subsidiary of the American company Johnson & Johnson (J&J) and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC).
It is a single dose vaccine and costs US$10 to US$14.5 per dose. The vaccine can be stored in a refrigerator at temperatures of two degrees Celsius to eight degrees Celsius for at least three months and can remain stable for two years at -20 degrees Celsius.
On Jan 29, 2021, Janssen announced that it was 66 per cent effective in a one-dose regimen in preventing symptomatic Covid-19, with an 85 per cent efficacy in preventing severe Covid-19.
4. Sinopharm (China); Sinovac (China)
These Covid-19 vaccines are from China’s State-owned Sinopharm and a private company, Sinovac. They are inactivated virus vaccines and are sold at US$31 per dose.
The Phase Three trial of the Sinopharm vaccine was reported to demonstrate 79.34 per cent efficacy, while the Sinovac vaccine efficacy stands at 50.4 per cent.
The vaccination for both requires two doses given by intramuscular injection. However, Sinopharm is given three to four weeks apart while Sinovac is given three weeks apart.
Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines can be stored at two degrees Celsius to eight degrees Celsius for 24 months and five months, respectively.
5. Moderna (US)
The Moderna Covid-19 vaccine is developed by the United States National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) and Moderna.
Two doses are administered by intramuscular injection, given four weeks (28 days) apart. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the interval between the doses may be extended to 42 days if necessary.
The Moderna vaccine is an mRNA vaccine and is sold at US$25 to US$37 per dose. The efficacy of the vaccine stands at 94.1 per cent.
The Moderna vaccine is stable at two degrees Celsius to eight degrees Celsius for 30 days and can be stored up to six months when stored at -20 degrees Celsius.
Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine is a viral vector-based vaccine developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca and is sold at US$3 to US$4 (based on CSR pricing).
Given intramuscular injection, the vaccination requires two doses given four to twelve weeks apart and demonstrates 70.4 per cent efficacy.
The vaccine can be stored, transported and handled at normal refrigerated conditions, about two degrees Celsius to eight degrees Celsius, for at least six months. — The Health