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Home / Health / This is a comparison of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine with Pfizer and Moderna

This is a comparison of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine with Pfizer and Moderna



Photo Credit: Andriy Onufriyenko-Getty Images
Photo Credit: Andriy Onufriyenko-Getty Images

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  • AstraZeneca̵

    7;s COVID-19 vaccine has been approved for emergency use in the United Kingdom, India and Mexico.

  • Unlike its competitors, AstraZeneca’s vaccine is an improved version of the common cold virus that spreads in chimpanzees.

  • This is the first vaccine of its kind approved for use in humans, but other companies are also developing similar technologies to fight COVID-19.

On December 30, just a few weeks after Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccine candidates were approved by the US Food and Drug Administration, the UK became the first country to approve AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use. Approval is another promising signal of global immunization efforts-especially because the option developed by Oxford University and biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca may be crucial to attracting people in rural and underfunded areas.

Unlike its competitors, AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine can be stored at higher temperatures, has a lower cost per dose, and can use different technologies to immunize people. Although the vaccine has not yet been approved in the United States, it may reach the U.S. military as early as February. New York Times report. This is what we know about vaccines so far and how it competes with Pfizer and Moderna.

How does the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine work?

AstraZeneca’s vaccine uses adenovirus vector technology. Translation: It is a harmless modified version of the common cold virus, usually only spread among chimpanzees. This modified virus does not make you sick, but it carries the gene for the new coronavirus spike protein, which triggers an immune response. This allows the immune system to produce antibodies against COVID-19 and teaches your body how to respond to infection.

In other words, according to the company’s news, AstraZeneca’s vaccine can simulate COVID-19 infection without life threatening.The reason why the researchers chose the chimpanzee adenovirus is simple: the modified virus requires new People who are vaccinated-otherwise, the body will not produce the most important antibodies. Anyone may already have antibodies against the spread of colds between humans, but very few people have been spread by colds between chimpanzees.

At the same time, Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines rely on mRNA technology, which essentially introduces a genetic code that can trick the human body into producing COVID-19 antibodies without the need for a virus. All three vaccines require two injections, about a month apart. Although no adenovirus vector vaccine has been approved for use in humans, companies such as Johnson & Johnson, CanSino and NantKwest are all developing their own versions.

How does AstraZeneca vaccine compare to Moderna and Pfizer vaccines?

Storage and distribution

To date, AstraZeneca’s vaccine is the easiest vaccine to transport and can be stored for up to six months at a normal refrigerator temperature of 36 to 46°F. At the same time, the Moderna and Pfizer options must be stored at a temperature below zero until they can be used, at -4°F and -94°F, respectively. (Compared with adenoviral vector technology, mRNA technology is relatively fragile, which means that it must be kept at a lower temperature to remain effective and stable.)

AstraZeneca’s higher storage temperature can make distribution easier. “Clinic, nursing home, even [regional] The health department may not have a freezer that can keep food at -94°F,” said Dr. Kawsar Talaat, an infectious disease doctor, vaccine researcher, and assistant professor in the Department of International Health at Johns Hopkins University. The ability to use a typical refrigerator “can be distributed Time, so that the vaccine has time to reach more rural areas, [and allows vaccines] You can stay longer in the clinic. “

cost

The new vaccine also beats its competitors in price: AstraZeneca’s vaccine reports that AstraZeneca’s vaccine costs about $4 per dose, Pfizer’s price is $20, and Modena’s price is $33. Over time and vaccine development, these prices are likely to fluctuate.

effect

The efficacy of the two mRNA vaccines is slightly different. Both Pfizer and Moderna reported that the efficacy of COVID-19 after the second injection in clinical trials was about 95%, while the average efficacy reported by AstraZeneca was 70%. If the dose is adjusted, it can reach 90%. (In contrast, according to the CDC, annual influenza prevention measures are usually 40% to 60% effective.)

side effect

The side effects of the three vaccines are similar, including potential injection site pain and flu-like symptoms, including fever, fatigue, headache and muscle pain, which can be expected when the immune system is activated.

Which COVID-19 vaccine is best?

There is no “best” vaccine option because there is not enough research to confirm this. Vaccines are not a panacea, especially with the pandemic: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, vaccines must be combined with masks, hand washing and social isolation to work as effectively as possible. Regardless of which COVID-19 vaccine you use first, as long as you continue to be cautious until the number of positive cases, hospitalizations and deaths across the country is drastically reduced, you can be confident in its protection.

At the same time, Dr. Talat explained: “It is likely that all manufacturers are trying to make their vaccines more stable at temperatures that are easy to manage.” As the formula changes, their pros and cons will also change.

At present, we can thank AstraZeneca’s vaccines for being popularized all over the world. Dr. Tallat said: “Next-generation vaccines, such as the AstraZeneca vaccine that is kept at refrigerator temperature, are a major advancement,” Dr. Tallat said. “When you talk about distributing vaccines to the world, it is much easier to do so because we have kept the vaccines cold. It is much harder to keep them frozen.”

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