Moderna and Pfizer have come out in recent as the top candidates for maximum vaccine efficacy for Covid-19. So what technology was used to develop these shots? How do they plan to deliver them globally? Which ones will India choose?
Crux of the Matter
What Is Vaccine Efficacy?
It is the percentage reduction of disease in a vaccinated group of people, when compared to an unvaccinated group. It is best measured using clinical trials, using best case or ideal scenarios.
Is It Different From Vaccine Effectiveness?
Vaccine effectiveness tells us how well a vaccine works when used in a general, bigger population whereas vaccine efficacy depicts how well a vaccine works in controlled, ideal conditions, like during a clinical trial.
PFIZER and BIONTECH Vaccine
Head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, immunologist Anthony Fauci has officially reported that Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine, developed in collaboration with BioNTech SE, has an efficacy between 90-95%. The US administration has funded this development and has also secured the advanced purchase of the vaccine, in order to make it reach the entire US population by year end.
Let us understand how both these vaccines work.
Which One Will India Choose?
India is still hoping for the success of the Phase 3 trials of the homegrown Covaxin by Bharat Biotech and the home-tested AstraZeneca Oxford University vaccine. Meanwhile, Russia’s Sputnik-V coronavirus vaccine has shown 92% efficacy in preliminary trials.
What To Look For Next?
The logistical challenge posed by mass production and distribution of these vaccines, that need to be transported in cold conditions, to a global population of around 7 billion people.
- The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) is a weekly medical journal published by the Massachusetts Medical Society. It is among the most prestigious peer-reviewed medical journals as well as the oldest continuously published one.
- In the pharmaceutical industry, fill and finish is the process of filling vials with vaccine and finishing the process of packaging the medicine for distribution. The fill/finish process is a common bottleneck in the manufacturing and deployment of vaccines.
- Vaccines can be prophylactic (to prevent or ameliorate the effects of a future infection), or therapeutic (to fight a disease that has already occurred).
- Business Today – ’90-95% effective’: Top US health expert vouches for Pfizer coronavirus vaccine’s efficacy
- CDC – Lesson 3: Measures of Risk
- Nature – COVID vaccine excitement builds as Moderna reports third positive result
- WHO – How do vaccines work?
- BBC News – Moderna: Covid vaccine shows nearly 95% protection