The long wait is finally over! With the steady hike in the COVID-19 death rate, the arrival of the Covid-19 Vaccines, the world at large sighs in relief. The clinical trial test reported the effectiveness of each Vaccine. But, how do we choose the best one? Clinical research, that involves a steady long process, probably years had to be completed within a limited time zone. While the supplies of vaccine are limited, priority is given to health workers and senior citizens. The misinformation on each brand of Vaccine being circulated more than it’s worth makes it all the more difficult to choose one for ourselves! But then, do we have a choice? Despite the authorization of several vaccines into the global markets, it would probably take a long time before we grade them. The scientists world over are working tirelessly on multiple clinical trial tests to bring out the best cure that can end this deadly Virus.
Eminent scientists across the world are striving hard to create Vaccines that are highly competent in fighting this Mutation Virus, which has now had positive results. Couple of vaccines has been granted approval on emergency basis by the National Regulatory Authority. Each chosen vaccine have their own distinctive benefits. This makes it difficult to reach out to a specific brand of Covid-19 Vaccine to work the best against this deadly Virus. Since the trial tests and studies were conducted on the Age group category, it is easier to point out a Vaccine that works best based on a certain group of people. The following is the list of Vaccines approved for full use by WHO recognized authorities. And a detailed view of the major vaccines used by nations around the world.
- Sputnik V
- Oxford – AstraZeneca
- Johnson & Johnson
This is the first vaccine to be approved by the FDA (US) & EU both for Emergency and Regular use. This Vaccine has 91.3% positive results in holding the Virus in their major Clinical trials on more than 40,000 individuals. Under the brand-named – Comirnaty, this vaccine falls under the mRNA Vaccine; it is administered by intramuscular injection in individuals aged sixteen years and older and necessitates two doses that are given within a span of 21 days. Common side effects of mild pain on the area vaccinated and headache have been affirmed. First to authorize this Vaccine was the United Kingdom, followed by the United States, the European Union, and a number of other nations worldwide.
Also known as mRN-1273, this Vaccine was developed by the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, BARDA and Moderma. Clinical trials prove that this Vaccine was 94.1% effective at preventing COVID-19 among individuals of different age, sex and background and also among people with underlying medical illnesses.
The vaccine is given in two shots of 0.5ml, 28 days apart in the upper arm muscle. This vaccine is recommended for people aged 18 years and older. Mild allergic reaction occurs within 4 hours of vaccination displaying symptoms like swelling and pain of the injected area, respiratory disorder, headache, fever or hives were more noticeable after the second dose of vaccination.
This Viral Vector Vaccine primarily created a storm for being announced before the release of its Phase II final experimental test data. This vaccine is developed by Moscow’s Gamaleya National Research Centre of Epidemiology & Microbiology and RDIF. Scientists have now confirmed a 91.6% efficiency based on analysis of the Phase III results of the clinical trial among people after taking both doses of the vaccine. It uses a cold-type virus, contrived to be mild, as a transporter to carry a minor percentage of the coronavirus to the body. The vaccine is given in two shots and comprises of two different typecasts of human adenovirus, that helps to carry the antigen of the new Corona virus entering the human cells and help produce an immune response, thus engaging another virus to carry the DNA encoding into the cells. Safely exposing the body to a part of the virus’s genetic code and in this way allows it to recognize the threat and learn to fight it off, without the risk of becoming ill. Once vaccinated, antibodies that are tailored to fight the coronavirus present in the body are produced. The vaccine is stored at 2 and 8 degrees C in Dry form (a standard fridge is roughly 3-5C degrees) and -18.5 degrees C in liquid form making storage and transportation easier. Another feature of the vaccine is that it has a different second dose that is given 21 days apart. Scientists confirm that using two different formulas increases the immune system more than using the same vaccine twice, providing long-lasting protection. If approved, Sputnik V will be the third COVID-19 vaccine to be available in India. Covaxin and Covishield are the other two given the green signal by the Drugs Controller General of India.
Oxford – AstraZeneca
Sold under the brand names Covishield and Vaxzevria, the Oxford-AstraZeneca is a viral vector vaccine for COVID – 19. With minor side effects like headache, nausea and swelling at the injected area, the vaccine has proved to be 81.3% effective after its second dose.
Johnson & Johnson
A viral vector vaccine that is altered to contain the gene for making the spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes the COVID-19. The immune system of the human body responds to this protein producing antibodies. Johnson & Johnson is developing a one-shot vaccine that would make vaccination easier. With its final clinical trials ending in late January 2021, it remains a question on how soon the Company will start production of the Vaccine.
Covaxin is an inactivated type vaccine developed by Bharat Biotech with ICMR. The Inactivated vaccines do not replicate and contain dead virus that do not infect the person and boosts the immune system to bring about a self-protective response against any contamination. This is a 2 dose liquid vaccine that is administered within 28 days and requires no sub-zero storage. Covaxin showed 81 % efficacy in preventing the COVID-19.
The “Best Vaccine”?
With the COVID-19 Vaccination drive in full swing around the world, Scientists and like Researchers are all eyes on the result of the varied Vaccines. It is common knowledge that performance of any medicine/vaccine as compared to its successfully performed clinical trials is very low. The constant demand to produce an early, “Perfect” vaccine for the COVID-19 that keeps mutating and with limited supplies is still at large. Grading any Vaccine cannot be possible taking into account just its success rates. The cost of supplying the vaccines, deployment charges, effective output of the vaccines etc. needs to be taken into account. Scientists, not knowing the lasting of the vaccine have already started testing a variety of doses and blends of vaccines to retain safe and effective vaccine. It is a long wait! But for the likely future wearing masks and maintaining social distancing is the new norm. Once vaccinated does not allow us to go back to living the life before the COVID-19, without putting ourselves and others at risk. Studies and researches still do not clarify a 100% efficiency of any vaccine that can protect us against this lethal disease, its contagion and spread.