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Covid vaccine tracker: How do the leading jabs compare?

Since the first cases of coronavirus were identified at the start of the year pharmaceutical companies have raced at unprecedented speed to develop a safe and effective vaccine to help stop the spread of Covid-19.

In total there are now more than 300 vaccine candidates, according to the World Health Organization, using an array of different techniques to trigger antibodies and virus-fighting cells to fend off infection.

More than a dozen of those experimental shots are now in large-scale clinical trials with several on the cusp of regulatory approval.

BioNTech/Pfizer

GERMANY/US


95%


Efficacy according to phase 3 trial data

The jab produced by Germany’s BioNTech and US pharmaceutical company Pfizer uses breakthrough mRNA technology and has been approved for use in the UK. It is the first vaccine to win regulatory approval in either Europe or North America.

Vaccine type: mRNA in two doses.

Regulatory status: Approved in the UK. Pending approval in the EU and US. A separate trial is currently under way in China.

Likely approval dates:

  • December 1: Approved in the UK

  • Mid-December: US approval expected

  • December 29: EU approval expected

Production: 1.3bn doses in 2021. Manufacturing will take place in Mainz, Idar-Oberstein and Marburg in Germany, Puurs in Belgium and Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Take-up around the world: Expected to be distributed to the UK, EU, US and Japan.

Storage requirements: Must be transported at -75C. Has a lifespan of five days when refrigerated at between 2C and 8C.

A dose of the coronavirus vaccination from BioNTech and Pfizer is administered © BioNTech/Reuters

Moderna

US


94.1%


Efficacy according to phase 3 trial data

US biotech company Moderna plans to submit its Covid-19 shot for regulatory approval in the US and the EU at the beginning of December, making it the second western vaccine maker likely to start distribution before the end of 2020 if approved. 

Vaccine type: mRNA in two doses.

Regulatory status: In addition to the UK, US and EU, rolling review of trial data is under way by regulators in Canada, Israel, Singapore and Switzerland.

Likely approval dates:

Production: Between 500m and 1bn doses in 2021, manufactured in the US, Switzerland and Spain.

Take-up around the world: Expected to be available in most developed countries.

Storage requirements: Must be transported at -20C. Has a lifespan of 30 days when refrigerated at between 2C and 8C.


AstraZeneca/Oxford university

UK


70%


Average efficacy rate according to phase 3 trial data

The Anglo-Swedish drug company and Oxford researchers caused controversy after it was revealed that their vaccine was either 62 per cent effective or 90 per cent effective, depending on the dosage. The partners did not initially disclose that the higher efficacy rate applied only to a smaller sample of patients under age 55, or that the finding had come about seemingly by mistake. 

Vaccine type: Adenovirus in two doses, though it is unclear whether the course will be two full doses a month apart, or a half dose followed by a full dose a month later.

Regulatory status: Early trial data is currently under review in the UK and EU but phase 3 results have not yet been submitted anywhere. A phase 3 trial in the US in ongoing and approval is not expected until next year.

Likely approval dates:

  • December: UK expected to review and possibly approve

  • Mid-January onwards: EU review and approval expected

  • 2021: US approval expected

Production: 3bn doses in 2021, which will be manufactured in various locations including the UK, India and Brazil.

Take-up around the world: Distribution is expected to be worldwide once approved. It is cheap to produce and requires less refrigeration — an advantage in many developing countries, where AstraZeneca has promised to sell it at cost.

Storage requirements: Needs to be refrigerated between 2C and 8C but does not expire.

A health worker sorts blood samples for Covid-19 vaccination study for pharmaceuticals company Janssen, of Johnson & Johnson, as part of a phase 3 study in Cali, Colombia © Luis Robayo/AFP/Getty

Johnson & Johnson

Us


??


Efficacy rate

The drugmaker’s phase 3 trial is ongoing in the US, with interim data expected in January. Through its Janssen subsidiary, the New Jersey-based drugmaker will administer its experimental vaccine to 6,000 UK volunteers in two doses in a phase 3 trial.

Vaccine type: Adenovirus in one dose, though J&J is also testing a two-doses regimen.

Regulatory status: In the UK and EU early trial results are under rolling review but phase 3 results have not been submitted anywhere. Expected to seek US FDA approval first, in February, if the phase 3 data are positive.

Production: 1bn doses in 2021, manufactured in the US, Europe, Asia and Africa.

Take-up around the world: Distribution is expected to be worldwide once approved.

Storage requirements: Can be transported and stored at between 2C and 8C for three months. Will last for two years if kept at -20C.

Members of the Red Cross and Germany’s emergency response group THW assist in setting up a centre for vaccinations against Covid-19 in a converted gymnasium in Eschwege, Germany © Thomas Lohnes/Getty

Novavax

US


??


Efficacy rate

New York-listed biotech Novavax launched phase 3 trials of its vaccine in the UK in September. Results are expected in early 2021. A larger trial in the US, which has provided $1.6bn of government funding to the company, is expected to start this month. Chief executive Stanley Erck has described results from early tests on baboons as very positive.

Vaccine type: Recombinant spike protein in two doses

Production: 1bn to 2bn doses in 2021, manufactured in the US, Czech Republic, Spain, Sweden, Denmark and South Korea.

Regulatory status: Two phase 3 trials are ongoing in the US and Mexico, and in the UK. Interim data expected in the first three months of 2021.

Take-up around the world: Worldwide.

Storage requirements: Transported and stored at 2C to 8C. Expected to last at least six months at those temperatures, though work on this area is ongoing.

Stacked bar chart showing vaccine pre-orders to December 1 in doses per capita

Medicago/GSK

CANADA/UK


??


Efficacy rate

Medicago, a Canadian developer part owned by cigarette make Philip Morris, is working on a vaccine that uses virus-like particles which are not infectious and are grown in plants. The company is partnering with GSK to use its adjuvant to boost the immune system’s response.

Vaccine type: Recombinant spike protein in two doses.

Regulatory status: Phase 2/3 trial started in mid-November, interim results expected in the first quarter of 2021. The phase 2 trial has started in Canada and will later enrol participants in the US. The phase 3 trial will start before the end of the year.

Production: Up to 80m doses a year from 2021 at plants in the US and Canada, rising to more than 1bn a year from 2023 at a new factory in Quebec.

Take-up around the world: Has an agreement with Canada and is talking to other governments.

Storage requirements: Stored at 2C to 8C. Expected shelf life of about 12 months.

A medical worker fills a syringe with the Sputnik V (Gamaleya) vaccine before administering an injection in Moscow, Russia © Maxim Shemetov/Reuters

Gamaleya

Russia


95%


Efficacy rate according to interim analysis of trial results though some doubt the data

Russia surprised the world in August when it approved a vaccine developed by the state-controlled Gamaleya Research Institute for limited use before phase 3 trials had started. It then announced expanded trials and released interim results in November.

Vaccine type: Adenovirus in two doses.

Production: Russia says there have been preliminary orders of 1.2bn doses worldwide, but anticipated demand of at least 2.4bn doses. It is seeking to expand capacity.

Regulatory status: Approved for early use in Russia, though critics say the rushed process was risky. Phase 3 trials are ongoing but Russian president Vladimir Putin has ordered officials to begin vaccinating doctors and teachers.

Take-up around the world: Distribution expected in Russia and former Soviet states, India, UAE, Hungary, Saudi Arabia and several countries in Latin America.

Storage requirements: In its dehydrated form the vaccine needs to be stored at 2C to 8C. In liquid form it must be frozen at -20C. It can be stored for six months at those temperatures.


CanSino

china


??


Efficacy rate

CanSino is carrying out trials on its vaccine candidate in Mexico, Pakistan and Russia. The Hong Kong-listed group’s total market capitalisation rose more than 480 per cent between January and November to almost $10bn.

Vaccine type: Adenovirus in one dose.

Regulatory status: Approved for limited use in China in June, with phase 3 trials ongoing in Mexico, Russia and Pakistan.

Production: 300m doses in 2021, manufactured in China.

Take-up around the world: Likely to be distributed largely in China and Mexico.

Storage requirements: Refrigerated at 2C to 8C, lifespan unknown.


Sinopharm I

china


??


Efficacy rate

State-owned China National Biotec Group, or Sinopharm, is developing two vaccines, the first in partnership with the Wuhan Institute of Biological Products. Both vaccines have already been widely distributed in China under limited use provisions even though trials are ongoing. In November, Sinopharm said that almost 1m people had received one of the two shots.

Vaccine type: Inactivated virus in two doses.

Regulatory status: Granted authorisation for limited use earlier this year and submitted phase 3 results for approval in China in November. Phase 3 trials are ongoing in countries including UAE, Peru, Morocco, Argentina, Bahrain, Egypt and Jordan. Likely to get full Chinese approval in December.

Production: More than 1bn doses in 2021 across the two vaccines, all made in China.

Take-up around the world: Likely to be distributed in China, south-east Asia, the Gulf, Africa and Latin America.

Storage requirements: Refrigerated at 2C to 8C. Lifespan unknown.

An advertisement for China’s SinoVac on the side of a truck

Sinopharm II

china


??


Efficacy rate

Sinopharm is also testing a second vaccine developed with Beijing Institute of Biological Products, with similar characteristics to the Wuhan vaccine.

Vaccine type: Inactivated virus in two doses.

Regulatory status: Granted authorisation for limited use earlier this year and submitted phase 3 data for approval in China in November. Phase 3 trials are ongoing in countries including UAE, Peru, Morocco, Argentina, Bahrain, Egypt and Jordan. Likely to get full Chinese approval in December.

Production: More than 1bn doses in 2021 across the two vaccines, all made in China.

Take-up around the world: Distribution likely in China, south-east Asia, the Gulf, Africa and Latin America.

Storage requirements: Refrigerated at 2C to 8C. Lifespan unknown.


SinoVac

china


??


Efficacy rate

Chinese biotech SinoVac has launched phase 3 trials for its vaccine candidate in China and internationally. As with other Chinese shots it has already been approved for limited use in China.

Vaccine type: Inactivated virus in two doses.

Regulatory status: Approved for limited use in China. Phase 3 trials ongoing in Brazil, Indonesia and Turkey. Likely to get Chinese approval in December.

Production: 300m doses per year, made in China.

Take-up around the world: Distribution likely in China, Brazil, south-east Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Storage requirements: Refrigerated at 2C to 8C. Lifespan unknown.


ZFSW

china


??


Efficacy rate

Anhui Zhifei Longcom and the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences launched phase 2 trials in July and phase 3 trials in December.

Vaccine type: Recombinant spike protein, dosage unclear.

Regulatory status: Phase 3 trials running in China. Discussions are under way to begin further phase 3 trials in Uzbekistan, Indonesia, Pakistan and Ecuador. Expected approval dates not yet clear.

Take-up around the world: China.

Production: 300m doses per year, made in China.

Storage requirements: Unknown.

Brazilian officials at Sao Paulo pose for photos next to a container carrying doses of vaccine after it was unloaded from a cargo plane that arrived from China © Nelson Almeida/AFP/Getty

Bharat Biotech

INDIA


??


Efficacy rate

Bharat Biotech’s vaccine has been developed with the Indian Council of Medical Research and the National Institute of Virology. It was the first Indian shot to enter clinical trials earlier this year.

Vaccine type: Inactivated virus in two doses.

Regulatory status: Currently in phase 3 trials in India.

Production: 300m doses in 2021, with the potential to increase to 500m doses. All manufacturing planned to take place in India.

Storage requirements: Refrigerated at 2C to 8C. Lifespan unknown.


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