COVID vaccines are Coming: A Comparison and Potential Release Dates

Category: Healthy Living

Author

Posted on January 14, 2021

Vanessa is a health writer and blogging expert. Her specialities are medicine, health and wellness. She is proud to call Vancouver, BC her home where she enjoys the ocean and mountains with her dog Mr. ChowChow.



covid vaccines

Wear a mask. Social Distance. Loss of taste and smell. If you count the number of times you've spoken or heard these phrases, you'd be a millionaire! 

COVID-19 has affected us all in different ways. Some people were happy to have some extra time off during the initial spring quarantine of 2020. However, the pandemic has created increased stress related anxiety for many others. 

Considering the economic impact and added emotional stress, the United States is ready to be done with the pandemic. For many, return to a life they remember so fondly hinges on the distribution of an effective vaccine. While waiting for vaccines to hit the market (and our arms), it's important to remember to keep our own stress in check

COVID Vaccines Are Coming

In July of 2020, the CDC rolled out plans to make 300 million COVID-19 vaccines available in the United States by January 2021. The plan, called operation warp speed, has gained traction and attention from existing vaccine companies and new ones.

Creators of COVID vaccines are conducting three-phase trials. By analyzing carefully collected data, several COVID vaccine contenders are claiming they are ready to roll out by the end of 2020. 

In order for vaccines available to the public, they must first gain FDA approval. The FDA is assuring US residents their approval process will have the same quality and guidelines required of any other vaccine.

Necessity Creates Innovation

While some creators of a COVID vaccine are using methods used to create previous vaccines, some are not. Companies like Moderna and Pfizer are harnessing what they've learned about the human genetic code to combat the novel coronavirus.

It only makes sense to combat a new virus with a new approach. Here's a look at the two types of vaccines. 

Adenovirus Vaccines

This is the standard way to create many anti-viral vaccines. Influenza, HIV, and Ebola vaccines are created this way. 

Adenovirus vaccines inject an inactivated virus into your bloodstream. The body eventually recognizes you've "caught" the virus and has a better ability to fight it. This is why it's possible to get a mild case of influenza even if you've had the flu shot.

This method has become relatively commonplace for major vaccine creators. Because the process is familiar, it's easy to see why some creators of the COVID vaccine are rolling out adenovirus approaches. 

mRNA Vaccines

Perhaps you've heard of the differences in how COVID-19 vaccines are being created. Pfizer and Moderna are preparing to roll out the first ever mRNA vaccine. These vaccines target the human body's mRNa (or Messenger RNA)

Instead of giving your body the inactive virus in a very small, safe dose, mRNA vaccines aim to retrain your body without actually infecting it. After injection into the bloodstream, the pre-protein molecules will deliver the message throughout your body.

This message will reproduce in the form of "spike cells". The spike cells trick your body's system into thinking it's already had the virus. Essentially, this method aims to teach or train your body to fight off COVID-19 without having any kind of true viral exposure.  

Pfizer/Bio-NTech

The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine harnesses the technology of mRNA. This team was the first to gain authorization for creating a vaccine against COVID-19.

Efficacy Rate

During phase III trials, the Pfizer and BioNTech COVID vaccine has shown 95% efficacy in fighting off the virus. This is good news for consumers. Especially considering the 2020 flu shot offers a 40% efficacy rate.

Storage Requirements

This vaccine requires storage temperatures of -94 degrees Fahrenheit. To give a little perspective on this number, let's look at the average storage temp of most vaccines offered today.  

With the exception of a few outliers, most common vaccinations in the US must be kept at an average of 40 degrees Fahrenheit. The CDC requires strict regulations to be followed by any facility storing vaccines.

A vaccine requiring such extreme temperature storage needs to be handled with great caution and oversight. 

Thankfully, Pfizer and Bio-NTech have thought of storage and shipment solutions. By direct and clear communication of expectations, sites can be well prepared when vaccines arrive.

While the storage temps are intense, once out of the deep freeze, the Pfizer and Bio-NTech COVID vaccine has five days to be out before use. That doesn't offer much time for use after storage.

Dosing Information

This vaccine requires two doses taken 28 days apart. It's not uncommon for vaccines to come in series. Shots like rabies and hepatitis have been administered through a series of timely spaced injections for years.

Price and Distribution

Pfizer and Bio-NTech predict their COVID vaccine to cost about $19.50/person. They are hoping to roll out 50 million vaccines by the end of 2020. 

Moderna 

Technology

Moderna's mission is clear: "Deliver on the promise of mRNA science to create a new generation of transformative medicines for patients."

It is no surprise their vaccine also takes advantage of the mRNA model. Here's a closer look at Moderna's COVID vaccine and possible release dates.

Efficacy Rate

Moderna is touting a 94.5% efficacy rate for its COVID-19 vaccine. This is a remarkably high efficacy rate for any vaccine and shouldn't go unnoticed. 

Storage Requirements 

Facilities interested in distributing the Moderna COVID vaccines should be prepared for a standard storage temperature. For up to 30 days, this vaccine is stable at a standard range of 36 to 46 degrees Fahrenheit. 

For longer-term storage, the vaccine can be kept at -4 degrees Fahrenheit for up to six months. While a little extreme, it's not impossible to store frozen vaccines. Varicella and MMRV vaccines, for example, must be kept between -58 and 5 degrees Fahrenheit.

Once removed from its storage, the Moderna vaccine has a shelf life of 30 days. This offers considerably more wiggle room than the Pfizer and Bio-NTech shot.

Dosing Information

Moderna's COVID vaccine also requires two doses to be effective. The second dose must be administered four weeks after the first. 

This, again, is very standard practice for vaccine and shouldn't be a deterrent in and of itself. 

Price and Distribution

The Moderna COVID vaccine will cost anywhere between $32 and $37 per dose. Moderna's roll-out goal is 20 million vaccines available for use by the end of 2020. 

AstraZeneca-University of Oxford 

AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford have teamed up to conduct trials in Brazil and the UK. Here's what they've produced.

Technology

This COVID vaccine is adenovirus based. AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford have used a weakened form of a cold viral vector. When injected, effective spike cells produce proteins that will attack SARS-Cov-2 virus (COVID-19).

Efficacy Rate

According to their trials and research, AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford's COVID vaccine is 62% to 90% effective in fighting the novel coronavirus. While that's a pretty wide range for efficacy, it's still higher than your average influenza vaccine!

Storage Requirements

This COVID vaccine has a moderate storage temperature of 36 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit. This puts it well within the average storage range facilities are used to accomodating.

With a shelf life of six months, this vaccine allows plenty of out-of-the-freezer time for distribution. 

Dosing Information

Much like the others, this COVID vaccine requires two shots. After the first poke is administered, recipients will have a month to return for booster shot.

Price and Distribution

With a low price of $3 to $6 dollars per shot, AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford have made their COVID shot the most accessible for those who may not have payment assistance. 

This team would like to roll out 200 million doses of their COVID vaccine by the end of 2020 or the beginning of 2021. It's unclear when the vaccine will be available in the United States. 

Johnson & Johnson

This family company is no stranger to vaccines. Johnson & Johnson has created vaccines for Ebola, Zika, and RSV.

While still in trials, here's what we know about the Johnson & Johnson Janssen Covi-19 vaccine.

Technology

Keeping with its known process, the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine utilizes the adenovirus approach.  

Much like AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford, this COVID vaccine draws from an inactive cold virus which helps the body produce what it needs to fight COVID-19. 

Efficacy Rate

Since their phase II trials began in November of 2020, it's too early for data to show us the efficacy rage of the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine. However, Johnson & Johnson hoped to enlist 60,000 participants for phase II trials.

This offers optimism to anyone wanting to look at data based on a large group. 

Storage Requirements

For up to two years, the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine will remain stable at a temperature of -4 degrees Farhenheit. 

After removal from its freezer storage, this COVID vaccine will be viable for up to three months at a temperature range of 35.6 to 46.4 degrees Fahrenheit. This should pose no problem for facilities already storing other types of vaccines.

Dosing Information

While others seem to be rolling out the two-dose model, the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine will require one shot to be effective. Early trials are showing great success with this model. Great news for the needle-averse population!

Price and Distribution

Johnson & Johnson expects their vaccine to cost about $10 per dose. 

Since it's still in trial phases, don't expect a release date any earlier than March of 2021.

Once approved by the EUA, Johnson & Johnson is aiming for 1 billion doses available to consumers by the end of 2021. 

Sputnik V

Russia is at it again, rolling out a COVID vaccine named for their famous space craft. Here are the facts about the Sputnik V vaccine.

Technology

Sputnik V has used similar technology to AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford. They've even offered to share some of their adenovirus technology with other agencies.

Efficacy Rate

After phase III trials, Sputnik V creators claimed a 94% efficacy rate. This puts this vaccine right on par with some of the top US COVID vaccine contenders.

Dosing

Not unlike most of the other COVID 19 vaccines, Sputnik V is administered in two doses. Recipients will return for a second dose four weeks after receiving their first.

Price and Distribution

Sputnik V is expected to cost $10 per vaccine.

While this vaccine won't be available in the US, its creators are hoping to roll out global distribution within the next year. Makers of Sputnik V are hoping to have 500 million shots available for distribution by the end of 2021.

Molnupiravir 

To be fair, this isn't exactly a vaccine. Molnupiravir is an oral therapy designed to slow the spread of coronavirus transmission. This drug aims to slow the transmission of COVID-19 as well as lessen the severity of the virus.

Molnupiravir is currently in Phase I/II trials.  

Information Is Power

Taking advantage of the information available to us can be a great way of coping during COVID. By learning as much as we can about the available options for a COVID vaccine, Americans can have a better idea of what's available.

Research is a great tool in our fight against anxiety of the unknown. With all the confusion and uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic, detailed knowledge of each vaccine can help us determine which is the best for us.

How to Choose

While we know individuals at highest risk for contracting COVID-19 will be among the first to receive the vaccine. At some point in the next year, many individuals in the United States will likely have the opportunity to receive a COVID vaccine.

Experts agree that among the top contenders, there's not a way to choose the best vaccine. Factors such as access to storage capability and geographic location have an impact on those wishing to get a COVID shot. 

Take Time for Self Care

Staying informed is important and helps us make decisions. However, spending too much time focused on COVID vaccines isn't a healthy habit. 

In order to curb stress-related anxiety, implement a self-care routine that works for you. Incorporate yoga or meditation into your daily routine.

Set a screen time limit for yourself. Too much time looking at your smartphone or computer can impact your vision AND your emotional health.

At Price Pro Online Pharmacy, we'd love to help you access the things you need to stay healthy. Call us at 1-855-776-0079 find us online to find out more about our affordable prescription options.