Top 5 Covid-19 Vaccines in the World

The first case of Covid-19 was found on 31st December 2019 in Wuhan, China. Since then every scientist is in search of a cure for this virus. The WHO tracks the progress of the various vaccines which are under research. As of now, there are more than 270 vaccines that are under developmental stages. But few vaccines have passed all phases successfully and are made available to people. This article lists the top 5 Covid-19 vaccines which are most effective and safe for human use.

1. Pfizer BioNTech

Pfizer Inc. is an American multinational pharmaceutical and biotechnology corporation. It is headquartered in New York City. Its co-founder is Charles Pfizer and its current CEO is Albert Bourla. According to WHO's Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE), the Pfizer Covid vaccine is safe and effective. The Pfizer Covid vaccine is made from mRNA meaning Nucleoside modified mRNA. This vaccine is made by USA and Germany where Pfizer is a corporation of USA and BioNTech from Germany.  On 31 December 2020, WHO granted the Pfizer BioNTech Covid vaccine. WHO thoroughly examined the results of the vaccine and recommended its use for people above the age of 16. 

Two doses of Pfizer Covid vaccine are recommended. The protective effect of the vaccine starts after 12 days of the first dose. The second dose needs to be taken after 3 weeks of the first dose. The Pfizer Covid vaccine has an efficacy of 95%. Efficacy rate changes from one variant to another because of different variants.

The vaccine is found to be safe and effective for people with diseases like hypertension, diabetes, asthma, pulmonary, liver or kidney disease as well as chronic infections. People with severe allergies should not take this vaccine. SAGE has reviewed all tests and indicated that the Pfizer Covid vaccine is effective against coronavirus variants. Currently, the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine is not approved in India but is estimated at a price of Rs. 730 in the country.

2. Moderna

Moderna Inc. is an American pharmaceutical and biotechnology company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Stephane Bancel is the current CEO of the Moderna corporation and co-founder, Noubar Afeyan. On April 30, 2021, WHO granted Moderna vaccine for emergency use. 

This vaccine is developed by The United States of America under the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases(NIAID) and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority(BARDA). The Moderna Covid vaccine is made from mRNA-1273 meaning Nucleoside modified mRNA. SAGE has recommended the use of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine for people aged 18 years and older.

SAGE recommends two doses(0.5 mL each) of mRNA-1273 vaccine. The second dose to be taken after 28 days of the first dose. The time interval between two doses can be increased to 42 days. The Moderna vaccine is efficacious up to 94.1%. Its protective effect starts after 14 days of the first dose. Those who experience immediate allergic reactions after taking the first dose should not take this vaccine. According to research, it is found that the effect of vaccines is not altered by new variants of the virus, still, further studies are going on.

3. Johnson and Johnson/Janssen

Johnson and Johnson (J&J) is an American multinational pharmaceutical company founded in 1886 headquartered in New Brunswick, New Jersey, United States. The co-founders are James Wood Johnson, Robert Wood Johnson I, Edward Mead Johnson and the current CEO of the company is  Alex Gorsky. The country of origin of the Johnson and Johnson covid vaccine in the US. The vaccine got approved by WHO in March 2021.

The J&J Covid vaccine is a Viral Vector vaccine made from Human Adeno Virus. Viral vector vaccines use an updated version of a different virus to deliver important messages to our cells. SAGE recommends one dose(0.5 mL) of the J&J Covid vaccine. The vaccine is efficient up to 85.4% against severe illness and 93.1% against hospitalization. 

The vaccine is proven safe and effective for human use and is recommended to be given to people aged 18 years and above. The vaccine is found efficacious against new variants of coronavirus. The vaccine is not recommended for people with high body temperature or fever. People with diabetes, hypertension, obesity, chronic lung disease can take this vaccine. Currently, there is no data available on the effect of this vaccine on the transmission of the virus.

4. AstraZeneca or Covishield 

AstraZeneca is a British-Swedish multinational pharmaceutical company with its headquarters at the Cambridge Biomedical Campus in Cambridge, England. It was founded on 6 April 1999. The current CEO of AstraZeneca company is Pascal Soriot. The AstraZeneca Covid vaccine was approved by WHO in April 2021. The country of origin of the AstraZeneca vaccine is UK Sweden. 

Two doses(0.5 mL) each are recommended with an interval of 8-12 weeks. The AstraZeneca Covid vaccine is a Viral Vector type vaccine that is made from modified Chimpanzee Adeno Virus. This vaccine has an efficiency of 63.09%. The longer dose gap between the first and the second dose is related to increased efficacy.

The vaccine has been approved by WHO and is safe for use. This vaccine is currently being given to people with 18yrs of age or above. The vaccine is recommended for people suffering from diabetes, obesity and hypertension, who are at higher risk of Covid-19. Those with severe allergic reactions should not take this vaccine. Also, this vaccine is not given to people below the age of 18 years. SAGE recommends using the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine even if the virus variants are present in the country.
AstraZeneca is also the manufacturer of India's Covid vaccine-Covishield by The Serum Institute of India. Covishield is a viral vector-type vaccine made from modified Chimpanzee Adeno Virus. 

5. Sputnik V

Sputnik V is also known as GAM-COVID-Vac is a Russian vaccine developed by Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology in Russia in association with the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF). Viral Vector type is made from two different modified Adenovirus, rAd26 and rAd5, for the first and second dose respectively. This vaccine was the first Covid-19 vaccine which is approved in 67 countries including Brazil, Hungary, India and the Philippines. In India, Sputnik V costs Rs. 1,145 per dose including GST.

Two doses of the Sputnik V Covid vaccine are recommended with a gap of 21 days. According to the results published in The Lancet, the Sputnik V vaccine is 91.6% efficacious after phase-3 trials. Currently, this vaccine is made available to citizens above the age of 18. The vaccine should not be administered to those with allergic reactions. After taking the Sputnik V Covid vaccine, the common side effects observed are fatigue, joint pain, headache, muscle ache, chills, fever, nausea, and vomiting.