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Most effective COVID-19 Vaccine-Latest Updates

VACCINE FOR COVID-19
Most effective vaccine for COVID-19

 

Ever since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, the term ‘vaccine’ has been a talk of the town. It was not long ago when the primary concern of all the health care authorities and big pharmaceutical companies worldwide was to develop a Coronavirus vaccine. And, fortunately, by the end of the year 2020, World Health Organisation (WHO) approved the first vaccine for emergency use. But before I give insights on various Covid-19 vaccines developed until now and their efficacies, it is essential to know what the term vaccine means. A Vaccine is simply a preparation that is used to stimulate the body’s immune response against pathogenic diseases. Hence, vaccination is the process through which a vaccine is introduced into the body.

Coronavirus Disease of 2019:

The Coronavirus Disease of 2019 is a viral disease. Coronaviruses belong to a group of RNA-containing viruses. However, in Covid-19, the body of the affected person undergoes a viral infection, and usually, the first sign to appear is a viral fever. Consequently, fever is typically high grade. Along with it, cough, shortness of breath, headache, loss of taste and smell, diarrhoea and, fatigue can also occur. In Addition, there is no drug available that can target this virus and the treatment is usually symptomatic.

Covid-19 wreaked havoc worldwide and resulted in around five million deaths until now. Hence, the world almost came to a standstill in the year 2020. As a result, an unimaginable loss to the global economy was noted. Furthermore, the impact it produced on the overall wellbeing of people is beyond measure. Hence, in such a psycho-social and economic crisis, the news of the development of a covid-19 vaccine was no less than a flash of hope for the world.

Vaccine for Covid-19-Developments in the year 2020:

Nevertheless, the development of a vaccine is an arduous process and can take months to several years. However, the world was fortunate to receive its first Covid-19 vaccine within a year. Therefore, in the race of developing a covid-19 vaccine, several countries participated. Nevertheless, the United States of America, the United Kingdom and, China played a significant role.

For instance, the first vaccine for covid-19 began developing in May 2020 when the United States formed the deal with AstraZeneca. In Addition, the phase 1 and 2 trials of the Moderna vaccine showed efficacy in the candidates. However, in July, AstraZeneca and CanSino vaccine from China showed promising results. Moreover, the Moderna vaccine began phase 3 clinical trials in July. However, in September, Pfizer and BioNTech started phase 3 trials and Johnson & Johnson’s Covid vaccine also entered into phase 3 trials. Subsequently, in December, FDA (Food and Drug Administration) advisory panel recommended Pfizer and BioNTech for approval. Finally, the UK approved the emergency use of AstraZeneca and Oxford Covid-19 vaccines by the end of the year 2020[i].

Vaccine for Covid-19-Developments in the year 2021:

Without a doubt, there were speedy developments seen in the approval and distribution of Covid-19 vaccines from the beginning of this year. Such as, in January, Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca started testing their vaccines among the 12–18-year-old population[ii]. However, in February, CanSino proved to be 66% effective against Covid-19. At this time, the vaccine development process was being carried out in Russia and India as well.

WHO-approved Vaccines for Covid-19:

In the year 2020, several pharmaceutical companies collaborated with healthcare institutions and researchers for the development of Covid-19 vaccines. As a result, multiple vaccines were developed and got approved. Hence, few got the approval from WHO for emergency use while many are still pending approval. In other words, there is a list of Covid-19 vaccines approved by WHO. Following are the Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) qualified Covid-19 vaccines along with the brands of covid vaccines approved by WHO[iii]:

1.       Pfizer-BioNTech: BNT162b2 / COMIRNATY / Tozinameran (INN)

2.       Moderna: mRNA-1273

3.       AstraZeneca: AZD1222 Vaxzevria

4.       Serum Institute of India: COVISHIELD

5.       Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) Ad26.COV2.5

6.       Sinopharm / Beijing Institute of Biological Products (BIBP): Covilo / BBIBP-CorV

7.       Sinovac: CoronaVac

8.       Bharat Biotech: Covaxin

The Best and Safest Covid-19 Vaccine:

Nonetheless, people around the world have shown concerns on which covid vaccine is better and which covid vaccine is the safest. However, it is important to keep in mind that every vaccine undergoes three clinical trials. In addition, it is evaluated in tens of thousands of candidates before its approval and distribution. Besides, all vaccines produce minor and non-serious symptoms since they are designed to activate the immune system of the body. As a result of immune system activation, the body reacts and fever occurs. Therefore, the side effects of all the Covid-19 vaccines are typically mild and self-limiting. Hence, it is better to grade the Covid-19 vaccines based on efficacy only. Moreover, there is no authentic research available on which Covid vaccine is the best and safest. Above all, it is said that whichever vaccine is available to you, consider it the best[iv].

Efficacies of Covid-19 Vaccines:

Efficacies of different Covid-19 vaccines, in particular, can be better understood through the following Covid-19 vaccine effectiveness chart:

Comparison of Different Covid-19 Vaccines:

The following Covid-19 vaccine comparison chart is based on their efficacies, types, number of doses, and side effects[v]:

COVID-19 Vaccines

Efficacy (%)

Type of Vaccine

Dosage

Side Effects

Pfizer & BioNTech

95

mRNA

Two doses, 21-28 days apart

Fever, headache, nausea and vomiting, malaise

 

Moderna

94.1

mRNA

Two doses with a gap of 28 days

 

Fever with chills, muscle pain, malaise, nausea

 

Johnson & Johnson

85.4

Adenovirus vector

One dose

Injection site pain, fever, chills, nausea, fatigue

 

Sinopharm

 

                Covaxin                 

79

 

        78          

Whole inactivated Coronavirus

 

Whole Inactivated Coronavirus             

Two doses with a gap of 21-28 days

 

Two doses with a gap of 4    weeks

 

Fatigue, injection site pain

 

        Fever, tiredness, headache, nausea.

 

                      

                      Serum Institute of India

 

66

 

Adenovirus vector

 

Two doses with a gap of 4-12 weeks

 

 

Fever, injection site pain, body ache

 

 

AstraZeneca

 

63.09

 

Adenovirus vector

 

Two doses with a gap of 4-12 weeks

 

 

Fatigue, thrombosis, chills, muscle pain

 

Sinovac

 

51

 

Whole inactivated Coronavirus

 

Two doses with a gap of 14-28 days

Muscle ache, headache, tiredness and numbness

           

The News on Covid-19 Vaccines:

At present, the process of Covid-19 vaccines’ distribution and administration is being carried out at a very fast pace. Therefore, it is evident from the fact that there have been more than 7 billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines administered worldwide. Many countries are now developing their Covid vaccines. For instance, Pakistan has also produced one named, ‘PakVac’. According to the latest updates, currently, 105 vaccines are undergoing clinical trials. Furthermore, vaccines ‘Sputnik V’, ‘Sinopharm/Wuhan Institute of Biological Products (WIBP)’, ‘CanSinoBio’, ‘Novavax’, ‘CureVac’ are waiting for approval from WHO[vi]. Furthermore, researchers are studying the long-term side effects of the vaccines and similarly, on the development of booster doses.

Conclusion:

In Conclusion, Pfizer & BioNTech have proved to be the most effective vaccine so far. But what matters more than the vaccine itself, is the willingness of the general public to get vaccinated. However, history has taught us that such pandemics can only be ended once herd immunity is achieved. Similarly, getting vaccinated with the Covid-19 vaccine is now a social responsibility that every person should fulfil. Perhaps after that, we can hope for a Covid-19-free world shortly.

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