The world has registered more than 85.6 million cases and witnessed deaths adjacent to 1.85 million by the start of 2021. No drug has been proven 100% effective against the virus, although a few drugs, namely, Remdesivir, Hydroxcholroquine, Favipiravir, Cipremi, Azithromycin have been in the limelight. A Vaccine seems to be the permanent cure that will result in the end of the pandemic.
Researchers around the globe are working diligently to find a vaccine against SARS-CoV-2, the COVID-19 virus. Many vaccines are under clinical trials and a few have been authorized to the date. This has led to the establishment of an enormous market in the global pharmaceutical industry.
The United States, China and Europe are the ones leading the race and have added a chauvinistic segment to the global crisis. According to experts, the skepticism among people about the Corona virus Vaccine will soon shift to exigency .With the boosting demands, the race to capture the vaccine market and get most of it has become ardent.
Following table shows the briefs of the top vaccine contenders in the race right now:
|Name of Vaccine||Mechanism||Sponsor||Trial Phase|
|Phase 3 Completed|
|mRNA-1273||mRNA-based Vaccine||Moderna||Phase 3|
|Bharat Biotech, |
National Institute of Virology
Viral Vector Vaccine
|Oxford University: AstraZeneca,|
IQVIA: Serum Institute
|NVX-CoV2373||Nanoparticle Vaccine||Novavax||Phase 3|
|ZyCoV-D||DNA Vaccine (Plasmid)||Zydus Cadila||Phase 2 Completed|
The impact of COVID-19 vaccines on the pandemic will depend on several factors such as effectiveness of the vaccines, approval from the health regulating bodies of the countries, manufacturing and distribution, and group of people that can be vaccinated. Following are some of the leading companies/ organization that are nearing the milestone of delivering successful vaccine.
1. Pfizer/ BioNTech BNT162 Vaccine Overview:
With a whopping 95% efficacy in the clinical trials, this vaccine was found to be the most efficient of all vaccines. With quick and effective results, this vaccine has managed to capture the US and European markets. However, the only drawback of this vaccine is that it has to be stored at negative 70degree Celsius. Transportation of this vaccine will be a major challenge in the supply chain. Looking at the cost and the storage requirements of the vaccine, its market evolution in developing countries still remains a major challenge.
This vaccine recently became the first one to be approved by the UK regulators granting it the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) status, just seven months after the start of clinical trials. According to reports, Canada expects to receive 6 million doses of the vaccine by the first quarter of the year 2021. The positive indications from FDA set stage for UK to begin vaccinating senior citizens with these shots. Also, Pfizer has already sought an EUA from emerging economies’ drug regulators such as India, to deliver doses following potential regulatory approvals.
The pricing is estimated to differ around the globe with that being around low of $19.50 in the US. Moreover, CEO of Pfizer Inc. has decided to make vaccine available for free to Africa and the pricing for other economically weak countries will be decided based on individual country’s GDP.
2. Oxford University- AstraZeneca and Serum Institute’s COVISHIELD Overview:
In, June 2020, The Serum Institute has entered into an agreement with AstraZeneca to produce 1 billion doses of the vaccine. With around 90% efficacy, AstraZeneca’s COVISHIELD became the first indigenous vaccine to enter the market. The advantage being it can be stored at 2 to 8degree Celsius and makes it easy for the transportation at the time of inoculation in rural as well as remote areas.
Indian government has placed a demand for 500 million doses of this vaccine. Serum being the World’s largest producer of the vaccines (in terms of number of shots) scores a point in the global competition. COVISHIELD has become successful in obtaining approval for emergency use authorization in India. In the first week of January 2021, The Serum Institute announced that it is ready to supply and distribute the vaccine to Indian Government, and other private healthcare facilities.
This is ought to be one of the cheapest vaccines globally, giving it another step up in the market. The pricing is estimated to be around the lowest of $6 – $8 for 2 doses. The Company has already reserved around 50 million doses for India and will continue to stock it up.
3. Moderna’s m-RNA1273 Vaccine:
With the efficiency of 95%, Moderna Inc. Vaccine will be another successful competitor in the market. The storage temperature for this vaccine is around negative 20 degree Celsius becomes challenge for the supplier and distributors. However, Moderna is better than Pfizer in terms of the ultra-low temperature storage.
The Moderna’s. Vaccine became the second candidate to get approval from the US FDA for emergency use authorization after Pfizer. The US Pharma giant Moderna is now working with the US had aim to deliver 20 million shots by the December 2020 and rest by second quarter of 2021. Further, the company has also sought for the EUA approval from Europe. The UK has already pre-ordered 7 million doses of the vaccine. Moreover, Japan has already secured 50 million doses of the experimental vaccine. However, there are no reports of the vaccine being brought to India, or other countries right now.
The pricing of this vaccine is estimated to be around $25 – $37 for two doses. Although a bit expensive than the Oxford and Pfizer Candidates, it has still managed to nab the US market and may have a pretty good run in the highly competitive environment.
4. Sputnik- Dr. Reddy’s Sputnik-V Vaccine:
Russia’s first approved COVID-19 vaccine, Sputnik V has started clinical phase III testing in selected centers across the country. It has registered a 92% success rate and the phase III trials have begun in India. The trials are being overseen by Dr. Reddy’s, in collaboration with ICMR. The storage temperature for Sputnik V is around negative 18 degree Celsius.
with a lot of concerns raised, the vaccine has still managed to gain trust of few Western, American and Asian countries. In September 2020, The RDIF (Russian Direct Investment Fund) has also reached agreements with Indian manufacturers to produce 300 million doses of the shot in India. Further, various reports suggest that India has purchased over 100 million doses of the vaccine from Russia. Also, another emerging economy, Argentina recently became the first country in Latin America to officially register Sputnik V vaccine based on Phase 3 clinical trials in Russia. Government of Argentina has signed a contract with RDIF for supply of 10 million doses of the Vaccine.
RDIF has announced that the pricing of vaccine will be less than $10 per dose.
5. Bharat Biotech’s COVAXIN:
COVAXIN being the first locally made and produced Covid-19 Vaccine in India has started its phase III trials in mid of December 2020. It is being produced by Bharat Biotech along with National Institute of Virology, India and is likely to be available in the first quarter of 2021. The vaccine would not require storage temperatures of more than negative 20 degree Celsius. It is said to be 60% effective in its trials.
Recently, Bharat Biotech also entered the race to seek Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) approval for India and it has succeeded in getting a nod from the Authorities. While it is still under trials, COVAXIN has managed to get a lot of global attention.
Above all, the excitement over early arrivals and approvals of Covid-19 vaccine are suddenly soaring high. A successful development of vaccine may lead to new era of developing the cure and treatment, where time constraints can be overcome.
With UK beginning to immunize its citizens, several other countries have started preparations to follow the same. Most vaccine producers, with their trials and productions going on have claimed to enter the market by mid-2021. So far, Pfizer and AstraZeneca are leading the race and expected to continue their lead as the major economies and their regulatory bodies are majorly inclined for offered solutions.
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