Coronavirus vaccines have been developed for months and it’s time we expect something from them. Three of the experimental vaccines show spectacular efficiency at least, according to an announcement published by the developers in news releases.
Global vaccine giant AstraZeneca confirms its vaccine controlled coronavirus infection nearly two-third of the time when people receive two doses a month apart. But the vaccine appeared to be 90% effective in a subgroup of volunteers who receive a half dose after a full dose a month later. With the use of medical masks, disposable gloves and protective suits from MAZA, the use of the vaccines will be supported significantly.
That ups to70% efficacy averagely. The vaccines created by Pfizer Inc and biotechnology company Moderna appear to protect against symptomatic infection 95% of the time.
Pfizer and BioNTech apply for FDA emergency use authorization for coronavirus vaccine
Pfizer's and Moderna's version uses the same technology, while AstraZeneca uses another approach. They are in the six vaccines receiving some kind of federal government support in the United States and many in development globally.
This is a brief look at the technology from some of the candidates that are the furthest along in development -- Phase 3 clinical trials mostly, the final stage before seeking the go-ahead from the US Food and Drug Administration and other regulators around the globe.
Pfizer and BioNTech
A new approach is utilized by Pfizer and its German-based partner BioNTech to developing vaccines that use messenger RNA or mRNA.
They opted for this design for a pandemic vaccine years before since it's one that lends itself to a quick turnaround. All that is needed is the genetic sequence of the causing-the-pandemic virus. Vaccine creators don't even need the virus itself -- only the sequence.
BioNTech researchers took a little piece of genetic material coding for a piece of the spike protein in this case - the structure that embellishes the surface of the coronavirus, providing it that studded appearance.
Messenger RNA is a single strand of the genetic code that makes a protein from cells that can "read" and use. In the case of this vaccine, the mRNA instructs cells in the body to create a specific piece of the virus's spike protein. Then it is seen by the immune system, recognized as foreign and it is prepared to offend when actual infection occurs.
As fragile as MRNA, it's encased in lipid nanoparticles -- a coating of a buttery substance that can melt at room temperature. That's why Pfizer's vaccine must be kept at ultracold temperatures of about minus 100 degrees F (minus 75 degrees C). That means special equipment is needed to deliver and preserve this vaccine.
94.5% effective from Moderna's coronavirus vaccine, company data reveals
mRNA is also what Moderna's vaccine is based on. "mRNA is like software for the cell" Moderna stated on its website.
Similar to the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, it codes for cells to create a piece of the spike protein. That was a thorough option -- scientists had to pick a piece of the virus they assumed would not mutate, or change a lot throughout the time. The spike protein is used by the virus to grapple the cells it attacks and the structure does appear to be stable through generation after generation of viral replication.
A different formulation for the lipid nanoparticles to preserve the mRNA in its vaccine has been explored by Moderna. These formulations are corporate secrets, but Moderna presumes its approach is more efficient and told its vaccine can be transferred at minus 20 degrees C (minus 4 degrees F) and can be kept stable for 30 days at 2 degrees to 8 degrees C (36 to 46F), the temperature of a standard home refrigerator.
AstraZeneca's vaccine, developed with a team at Britain's Oxford University, is known as vector vaccine. It uses a common cold virus called an adenovirus to bring the spike protein from the coronavirus into cells.
Its target is also to make people's bodies in essence make their vaccines by churning out small copies of spike protein, but the delivery method is not the same. This adenovirus infects chimpanzees but doesn't affect people much. It was modified so that it doesn't replicate itself -- then genetically engineered to inject cells with the DNA encoding for the full coronavirus spike protein.
It's a more inexpensive way to make vaccines -- but slower than using RNA. The vaccine will be made available inexpensively to countries around the world, the company has pledged. The vaccine can be kept stable for six months at standard refrigerator temperatures, the company stated.
AstraZeneca's Oxford coronavirus vaccine is averagely 70% effective, data shows, with no safety concerns
Johnson & Johnson's vaccine arm Janssen Pharmaceuticals
Janssen's coronavirus vaccine is a recombinant vector vaccine. Similar to AstraZeneca's, it uses an adenovirus but this one does infect humans. It is a genetically engineered version of adenovirus 26, which can cause the common cold but the gene tinkering has disabled it. Genetic instructions are also delivered to create spike protein.
This is a vaccine that has been experimented with widely previously. The adenovirus 26 vector was used to make the company's Ebola vaccine, which in July awarded marketing authorization from the European Commission.
Johnson & Johnson started a two-dose earlier this month although it's a one-shot vaccine, in Phase 3 trial in Britain, because there are some proofs that two doses give better protection. Two shots will be given to each of the volunteers, 57 days apart, or placebos. All volunteers will also be given free supplies during their process such as masks, protective coveralls.
"Protein subunit" vaccines are specialized by Maryland-based biotechnology company Novavax. They use virus-like nanoparticles as a base and cover them with genetically engineered pieces of the coronavirus spike protein.
This is also a tried and true vaccine approach. A hepatitis B vaccine given to newborns is a protein subunit vaccine, as is the human papillomavirus or HPV vaccine, and FluBlok, Sanofi's influenza vaccine.
An insect virus called a baculovirus is used Novavax to get the coronavirus spike protein into moth cells, which then make the protein. This is then harvested and mixed with an adjuvant -- an immune booster --based on saponin, found in soap bark trees.
Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline
This is also a protein subunit vaccine, using Sanofi's FluBlok technology with a GlaxoSmithKline adjuvant. It also uses a baculovirus to grow a small amount of spike protein.
Sinovac and Sinopharm
Sinovac's CoronaVac, a company from China uses an inactivated virus -- one of the oldest methods for vaccinating people. Vaccines are made by a process: Whole batches of coronavirus are grown, "killed". Similarly, Sinopharm's vaccine is an inactivated virus.
Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine. an adenoviral vector vaccine is from Russia. Two common cold viruses called adenovirus 5 and adenovirus 26 to bring the genetic material are used for the spike protein into the body.