When Pfizer announced the efficiency of its vaccine a couple of months ago, it was to the delight of the world, as it shows that we are getting closer to finding a cure for Covid-19. Aside from Pfizer’s, other Covid-19 vaccines have been developed and many others are in the development phase. In Nigeria, 10 billion Naira has been released for local vaccine production.
While we wait to produce our vaccine locally, by March 2021, Nigerians will start collecting shots of Covid-19 vaccines approved by regulatory bodies across the world. As at the time of this publication, below are vaccines currently been administered for emergency use. They are also the likely vaccines Nigerians will get starting from March.
Covid-19 Vaccines Approved for Emergency Use
- Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine (Comirnaty)
Branded as Comirnaty, Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine was announced a couple of months ago, and it is regarded as the most efficient vaccine that has been developed. The vaccine was developed through the collaboration of Pfizer, an American multinational pharmaceutical company, and BioNTech, a German biotechnology company.
The efficiency of this vaccine is put at 95%, and recipients have to take 2 shots, 21 days apart. Some of the side effects of taking the vaccine include pain, swelling, and redness of the arm on which it is given. Recipients can also feel chilled, tired, and get a headache. The vaccine is currently used in Germany and the United States.
- Moderna COVID-19 vaccine
The efficiency of this vaccine is put at 94.1%, and its recipients have to take 2 shots, 28 days apart. Like the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, its side effects include pain, swelling, and redness of the arm on which the vaccine is given. Chills, tiredness, and headaches are also felt by recipients. The manufacturer of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is ModernaTX, Inc, an American pharmaceutical and biotechnology company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
The vaccine is currently used only in the United States.
- Oxford–AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine
This vaccine was developed through a partnership between the University of Oxford and a British-Swedish company called AstraZeneca. Its efficiency has been put between 62 – 90%, depending on the initial dosage. Recipients of this vaccine also get 2 doses, 28 days apart. The vaccine has been used in Brazil, the United Kingdom, and India. Side effects include arm pain, headache, muscle aches, and fatigue.
- Sputnik V
Sputnik V, also called Gam-COVID-Vac, is a Covid-19 vaccine developed by Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology – the Russian company that developed effective vaccines against Ebola and MERS virus. Sputnik V has a 91.4% effectiveness. Its side effects include redness of area the shot was given and a slight headache, which goes away within 24 hours.
2 shots of Sputnik V are also given to recipients with a 28 days interval. Russia, Belarus, India, Venezuela, and UAE are countries in which the vaccine has been used.
This vaccine was developed by companies in China and the UAE. Its effectiveness is put at 79%, and the vaccine has been used in the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Jordan, Argentina, Morocco, and Peru. Its side effects are pain at the injection site and mild fever.
A vaccine developed by Sinovac Biotech Limited, CoronaVac has different effectiveness rates across the different countries it has been administered. In Turkey, its effectiveness is 91%; in Indonesia, 65.3%; in Brazil, 50.4%. Aside from pain on the site of injection, recipients experience nausea, headaches, and vomiting.
This vaccine was developed by CanSino Biologics, a Chinese vaccine company. It was the first novel coronavirus vaccine for COVID-19 in China’s clinical trial. The general effectiveness percentage of the vaccine isn’t stated, but in Russia, it is said to be at 92.5% with no side effect. The vaccine has been used in China, Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Pakistan, Russia, and Saudi Arabia.
The Indian biotechnology company Bharat Biotech was responsible for developing Covaxin, and its primary country of usage is in India. Recipients take two doses, but the interval between doses isn’t stated. The effectiveness of the vaccine isn’t also stated.
In conclusion, it is good news that Covid-19 vaccines have been developed. However, it is painful that none of the vaccines will be administered in Nigeria until March. In the meantime, keep wearing your face masks, keep sanitising your hand, and keep observing social distancing – for those are currently the ways to keep you and your loved ones safe from the virus.