COVID-19 Vaccines Compare

Good news comes in threes! The Oxford University/ Astra zeneca vaccine is the third one in the last few weeks which has shown positive results from phase 3 human trials, with a effectiveness rate of about 90%. This follows closely on the heels of Pfizer’s and Moderna’s RNA based vaccines which have between 90% to 95% effectiveness. The key advantage of the Oxford vaccine is that it is a traditional viral vector type that does not require special refrigeration in production and distribution. It can be stored at regular refrigerator temperatures compared to the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines which require refrigeration at -20 deg C and minus 70 deg C respectively. This makes The Oxford vaccine a better candidate for developing nations which might not have the cold storage infrastructure for large scale distribution. Also being a traditional vaccine it is much cheaper and easier to produce and can could the existing vaccine manufacturing facilities that are already present in these nations. There might be a split demand globally, where the wealthier nations pay a higher premium for the few percent higher effectiveness rate whereas the resource-constrained nations go for the cheaper vaccine that is easier to produce. Having the choice and the options are going to be critical in the next phase of deployment of the vaccines, post-approval, to an eagerly waiting global population.

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