There are two official coronavirus vaccines approved in the United States.
The Moderna vaccine began arriving nationwide on Monday, just three days after its emergency use was approved by the Food and Drug Administration. This follows the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine currently being given to healthcare professionals and residents of nursing homes.
Many Americans are preparing to get vaccinated, so many ask questions. What is the difference between these two vaccines, how effective they are and when do we all expect to get them?
Here’s what we know about the COVID-19 vaccine and what they mean for the future of the pandemic.
What are the major COVID-19 vaccines?
Pfizer and German biotechnology company BioNTech have developed BNT162b2, one of the FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccines.
Moderna, a biotechnology company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, has developed the COVID-19 vaccine mRNA-1273, which was approved on Friday and ready for distribution on Monday.
How effective are the candidate vaccines and what does that mean?
All late-stage vaccine trials include at least 30,000 volunteers, half of whom receive an effective vaccine and half of whom receive a placebo.
Both vaccines require two doses for maximum efficacy. Pfizer / BioNTech shorts are provided every 21 days. Moderna is given every 28 days.
From 1 week after the second dose, participants will be monitored for COVID-19 infection.
In each study, it is possible to statistically determine the efficacy of the vaccine after approximately 150 participants have developed COVID-19.
Approximately 200 study participants developed symptomatological COVID-19 in the Moderna study, of which only 11 received a valid vaccine. Due to the very high infection rates in the placebo group, statistical analysis revealed that the vaccine was 94% effective overall, according to safety and efficacy data released on December 15.
Pfizer / BioNTech reported on November 18 that of the 170 COVID-19 cases identified among study participants, 162 were in the placebo group, compared with 8 in the vaccine group. did. The Safety and Efficacy Report, published on 8 December, confirmed these findings.
Do vaccines have side effects?
In a Phase 3 trial of Moderna, the company said the most common side effects were fatigue, muscle and pain, joint and headaches, as well as pain, redness and swelling at the injection site.
In Pfizer / BioNTech’s Phase 3 trials, many participants tolerated 1-2 days after taking the shot, especially the second side effect. The most commonly reported side effect among vaccinated people under the age of 55 was arm pain, followed by malaise (60% after the second injection). Headache (52% after second shot); other muscle pain (37%); and chills (35%). About 28% took painkillers after the first shot and 45% took them after the second shot.
Dr. William Schaffner, a professor of health policy and preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, said:
Doctors emphasize that side effects are not only normal, but also a sign that the body is responding properly to the vaccine.
The side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine are similar to those of the influenza vaccine. This includes pain, redness, swelling, headache, low-grade fever, nausea, muscle aches, and malaise at the location of the injection. CDC.
In 44,000 and 30,000 exams, respectively, Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna saw few more serious problems than feeling poor for a few days.
Four Pfizer / BioNTech trials developed Bell’s palsy. Bell’s palsy is a neurological condition that causes one side of the face to sag temporarily.
At least two people in the United Kingdom, where the vaccine was first approved and distributed, showed a strong allergic reaction.
What is the difference between the two vaccines?
Most US-backed vaccines target the so-called “peplomers” found on the surface of the virus, causing COVID-19. This causes the virus to attach to the host cell and infect it.
Both of these vaccines work by presenting this spike protein to the immune system. Spike proteins are not dangerous because there are no remaining viruses. But the body is now designing immune soldiers to see and fight proteins.
Moderna and Pfizer vaccines deliver a chain of genetic material known as mRNA, turning people’s cells into spike protein factories.
This technique has been tested for other diseases but has never been used in an approved vaccine. This time, mRNA technology was chosen because scientists knew that it could be developed quickly.
Other COVID-19 vaccine candidates supported by the US government are targeting peplomer proteins via another carrier virus or small particles.
Both vaccines require different types of storage.
The Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine should be kept very cold at the temperature of dry ice until just before use. The Moderna vaccine, on the other hand, needs to be frozen for long-term storage, but can be refrigerated at maximum. The month before it was used.
When is the COVID-19 vaccine available?
Since the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine was approved, healthcare professionals and people in long-term institutions across the country have been lining up to get the planned vaccine.
Vice President Mike Pence and other prominent politicians Florida Senator Marco Rubio, Was publicly vaccinated in the hope of instilling confidence in the vaccine.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory board decided on Sunday that police, firefighters, teachers, and grocery workers would be the next candidates for the COVID-19 vaccine.
The Commission’s vote recommended that Phase 1b include people over the age of 75 and frontline mandatory workers. It accounts for about 30 million people in these groups.
- First responders such as firefighters and police
- Teachers, support staff, day care workers
- Food and agricultural workers
- Manufacturing worker
- Corrective worker
- Workers of the United States Postal Service
- Public transport workers
- Grocery worker
Phase 1b is not scheduled to begin until February due to the initial limited supply of vaccines.
Phase 1c, along with other important workers, includes 65-74 and 16-64 people with high-risk medical conditions. It makes up about 57 million people and includes:
- Public health workers
- Transport and logistics workers
- Food service industry worker
- Construction worker
- Financial worker
- IT & Communication Worker
- Energy worker
- Media worker
- Legal officer
- Public security engineer
- Water and sewage workers
Phase 2 includes all persons over the age of 16 who were not included in Phase 1 where vaccination is recommended. This means people over the age of 16 with high-risk medical conditions.
Coronavirus update:Vaccination against Moderna is scheduled to begin on Monday.New York Governor Cuomo urges federal government to ban flights from the UK
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, initially told the USA TODAY editorial board on November 18, hoping that the general public would start vaccination as early as April. It was.
However, many states have reported reductions in expected doses at the end of the year, which can affect vaccination schedules. Unexpected reductions have been reported in states such as Illinois, Idaho, Florida, Washington, Maine, and Washington DC.
Contributed by: Elizabeth Wise, USA TODAY. Follow Adrianna Rodriguez on Twitter: @AdriannaUSAT.
Health and patient safety coverage at USA TODAY was partially made possible by grants from the Masimo Foundation for Ethics, Innovation and Competition for Healthcare. The Masimo Foundation does not provide editorial input.
Pfizer-BioNtech, Moderna Everything you need to know about them
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