2020 was shaken by COVID-19 that altered the lives of each of us. Meanwhile, scientists have been developing the unique formula for the vaccine against the disease; approximately 63 vaccines are in the clinical trials, and 18 of them have reached the final phase today. Here is all you need to know about the leading vaccines that are set to be distributed to the public in the upcoming months.
The first vaccine is BNT162b2 produced by Pfizer-BioNTech. It is based on mRNA and was approved in several countries, including the Czech Republic. The vaccine’s efficiency is proved to be over 90% by the FDA independent study. The required dosage is two injections, three weeks apart. According to the BioNTech researchers, the vaccine contains ‘genetic instructions for building a coronavirus protein, spike,’ preparing the immune system to fight when recognizing the virus in the future. The European Commission approved it, and 200 million doses were purchased by the member EU States. In the Czech Republic, two million doses were ordered.
The second vaccine is mRNA-1273, which was manufactured by Moderna, a Boston-based company. They were the first ones to put the vaccine into the human trials, which gave great results: 94.5% efficiency. Similar to BNT162b2, it is based on the mRNA and injected in a muscle two times, but four weeks apart. On the 25th of November, the European Commission approved the vaccine and purchased 80 million doses for the EU States. As of now, the Czech Republic has not signed a deal to purchase it.
AstraZeneca, in collaboration with the University of Oxford, has introduced its vaccine AZD1222 to the international market as well. It is based on the genetic engineering of adenovirus with an efficiency rate of 90%. The vaccine needs to be injected two times in a muscle, four weeks apart. The European Commission approved it, and approximately 300 million doses were purchased for all states in the European Union. In the Czech Republic, there will be three million doses of the vaccine, which will allow to vaccinate of 1.5 million people.
The fourth vaccine, Ad26.COV2.S, was developed by Johnson & Johnson. It is still in clinical trials, and its efficiency was not determined yet. The formula of the vaccine is based on the adenovirus 26, the integral element for the viruses with Ad26. It should be injected into a muscle just one time, unlike the other vaccines. The European Commission approved the vaccine and purchased approximately 200 million doses for the EU states. The Czech Republic has ordered two million doses for the citizens.
The other vaccine currently in use is Sputnik V ( Gam-Covid-Vac). It was developed by the Gamaleya Research Institute, a part of the Ministry of Health in Russia. It’s based on the combination of two adenoviruses, Ad5 and AD26, which have been used in other types of vaccines for many years. Vaccine’s efficiency rate is 91.4% with the technique of two muscle injections, which should be done three weeks apart. The EU Commission did not approve it due to limited data on the vaccine and potential complications.
The vaccination in the Czech Republic will start at the end of December 2020. The government plans to distribute vaccines to 4.5 million people – approximately 40% of the country’s population. According to Jan Blatný, the Minister of Health, the first vaccinated will be people over 60, those with chronic diseases, and health care workers on the front line. The vaccination process will be wholly voluntary, and public insurance will cover it.