Biontech, Moderna, Astrazeneca – The three top corona vaccines in comparison – – today


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In the fight with the Sars-CoV-2 coronavirus, the tide seems to be turning in favor of humanity: within around two weeks, the western developers Biontech / Pfizer, Moderna and Astrazeneca / University of Oxford announced successes with their vaccine candidates. The positive: All three vaccines work against the pathogen. However, there are striking differences between the three vaccines.

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Biontech / Pfizer

Name: BNT162b2

Type of vaccine: mRNA vaccine

First information on effectiveness: November 9, 2020 (press release)

Effectiveness: 95 percent

Side effects: No serious side effects noted so far.

Cost per dose: About $ 20 (two doses required)

Cooling: Must be shipped and stored at minus 70 degrees. Will keep for five days at normal refrigerator temperatures.

Impact on risk groups: Works equally well across all age groups and other demographic differences. Efficacy in over-65s at 94 percent.

Degree of protection: Unclear whether the vaccine protects against severe courses. There were ten serious disease courses in the study, nine of which occurred in the placebo group. But a vaccinated person also became seriously ill with Covid-19.

Impact on pandemic: Unclear whether transmission of the virus will be stopped.

Capacity: Such a vaccine should be able to be produced on a large scale faster than conventional ones. Biontech / Pfizer want to provide up to 50 million vaccine doses worldwide this year, and up to 1.3 billion doses in 2021.

Status of approval: Emergency approval from the US FDA has been pending. Documents have been submitted to the European approval authority Ema.

Conclusion: very high effectiveness. The vaccine must be stored at minus 70 degrees. Pfizer stressed, however, that it has extensive experience in refrigerated storage and transport of vaccines and that it already has a corresponding global infrastructure. Questions about protection against severe disease and the ability to stop the transmission of the pathogen remain open.

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Name: mRNA-1273

Type of vaccine: mRNA vaccine

First information on effectiveness: November 16, 2020 (press release)

Effectiveness: 94.5 percent

Side effects: Mild. No serious side effects noted so far.

Cost per dose: About $ 25 (two doses required)

Cooling: Stable for 30 days at normal refrigerator temperatures. Can be stored for up to six months at minus 20 degrees Celsius.

Effect in risk groups: indications of effect regardless of the age of the vaccinated. Protective effect possibly also for people with chronic illnesses.

Extent of protection: Information on protection against the infection itself and also against severe courses of Covid-19.

Impact on pandemic: Unclear whether transmission of the virus will be stopped.

Capacity: Moderna expects to deliver 20 million cans this year and 500 million to one billion cans next year.

Status of approval: Moderna expects to be able to apply for an emergency approval in the USA in the coming weeks. The Ema initiated an accelerated approval process for the vaccine.

Conclusion: very high effectiveness. Moderna can also score points with its vaccine with logistics advantages, as it does not require ultra-cold storage like the Biontech vaccine. It is unclear whether the vaccine can stop the transmission of the pathogen.

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Astrazeneca / Oxford University

Name: AZD1222

Type of vaccine: vector vaccine

First information on effectiveness: November 23, 2020 (press release)

Effectiveness: 62 to 90 percent. Effectiveness depends on the dosage.

Side effects: No serious side effects noted so far.

Cost per dose: A few dollars per dose. In June, the Italian Ministry of Health said one dose would cost around EUR 2.50 in Europe.

Cooling: Can be transported and stored at refrigerator temperatures of two to eight degrees.

Effect on risk groups: Should also work well on particularly endangered older subjects – older study participants produced just as many antibodies against Sars-CoV-2 as younger ones.

Impact on pandemic: Could also reduce the transmission of the virus.

Capacity: More than 300 million vaccine doses are to be delivered worldwide by the end of March 2021. A total of three billion cans should be available in 2021, of which more than 50 million are planned for Germany.

Approval status: Astrazeneca plans to begin talks with the US FDA this week. Data are to be submitted to authorities around the world where fast-track procedures are possible.

Special features: At the beginning of September, the clinical study was temporarily stopped worldwide after a participant had a neurological incident – possibly an inflammation of the central nervous system.

Conclusion: Overall protection a little less than that of the two mRNA vaccines from Biontech / Pfizer and Moderna. AZD1222, however, has one major advantage: It is robust against temperatures and easy to use – so it can also be used in countries with fewer resources for complex cold chains. In addition, the vaccine is significantly cheaper than the mRNA vaccines.

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