The Race to Get COVID Vaccine.

As the globe continues to combat the novel COVID-19, the development of three viable vaccines is a promising beam light at the end of the tunnel.

Although the official roll-out hasn’t started, there’s a looming scramble as nations seek to get COVID vaccine and rid themselves of this pandemic.

First, we have the Oxford vaccine that involves several partners, including AstraZeneca. With an efficiency rate of up to 70.4%, recent final-stage trial data indicate that this vaccine can effectively protect the population from COVID-19 infection.

Oxford vaccine developers have recently stated plans to apply for safety approval from regulatory bodies to begin mass-producing their vaccine. Plus, AstraZeneca is trying to get permission from the WHO to list its vaccine under the Emergency Use category.

Second is the Pfizer vaccine, a product of the BioNTech and Pfizer firms. It is said to have a 95% efficiency rate. BioNTech has clearly stated that its vaccine has attained all the necessary safety standards.

Lastly is the Moderna vaccine, which is in its initial developmental stages. So far, preliminary analyses and trials indicate that the vaccine could be highly effective. One clinical trial found that the vaccine was 94.5 efficient in preventing an infection.

Since immunization helps preserve millions of lives yearly, searching for a viable COVID vaccine is priority for all leaders. However, there are concerns about whether the vaccines will be accessible to all.

Numerous nations have already begun to pre-order COVID-19 vaccines, and The Duke research group predicts a looming scramble for vaccines as countries wait to get COVID vaccine.

The research firm anticipates that republics with high-income rates will likely immunize most of their citizens, which might cause issues.

A predictive analysis by the firm found that more individuals are likely to die if rich nations hog all the accessible vaccines than if they are supplied equally to all countries.

This year alone has seen 200 different COVID-19 vaccines. Most are under improvements, and more than 15 are currently going through stringent human trials. In the UK alone, the authorities have made plans to procure at least 145 million injection doses of COVID-19 vaccines.

WHO and its associates are at the center of developing and distributing the novel COVID vaccines. The World Health Organization is collaborating with countries, companies, and research institutions to find a suitable solution to the ongoing pandemic.

WHO says it will work together with COVAX to ensure an equal and unbiased supply of COVID vaccines to all nations, particularly those at a higher risk rate. The COVAX facility will provide logistical and procurement solutions during the distribution of vaccines.

Everything about Immunity and Vaccines.

Disease-causing pathogens are always in our immediate environment and can easily cause ailments that negatively impact your health and may even cause death. The body’s immunity includes various organs, biological pathways, cells, and biomolecules, including hormones.

When the body’s natural immunity identifies pathogens, it triggers a cascade of molecular events that lead to the destruction, elimination, or inactivation of the pathogen. However, the immunological response may vary depending on the nature of the infection.

Image Alt Tag: Get Covid vaccine in laboratory

When a foreign infective antigen affects the body, it will generate specific biomolecules known as antigens that are essentially sub-components of the pathogen. In response to the specific antigens, the body will generate antibodies that will specifically work with the immune system to deal with the infective agent.

However, the immune system requires some time to identify new antigens and subsequently generate specific antibodies to counter the novel pathogen. Before this process occurs entirely, the individual is vulnerable to falling sick.

When antibodies are created, the immune system also develops memory cells that generate the specific antibodies much more quickly and effectively in case of recurrent infection. In this way, the body can act immediately and prevent sickness.

Vaccines such as those for measles and diphtheria have been existent for quite some time. However, most people fail to recognize what vaccines are and what they entail. If you are part of this crowd, worry not; here is a comprehensive look at vaccines.

Vaccines: What Are They? And How They Assist Your Immunity

Vaccines are merely non-infectious weakened or attenuated components of a disease-causing pathogen that are primarily made up of antigens.

When introduced into the body’s system, the weakened elements will induce an immunological response, which will provide you with the necessary antibodies to combat an infection of the original pathogen.

Developing a suitable vaccine for the novel coronavirus may assist in combating infection rates. For this reason, nearly all nations are attempting to get COVID vaccine as it may be the first step towards eradicating this pandemic.

Most modern vaccines, such as the promising COVID-19 ones, are developed to come in the form of an mRNA transcript that synthesizes the non-infectious antigens through protein synthesis when introduced into the body.

Nonetheless, it matters not whether the vaccine is developed by using attenuated antigens or mRNA transcripts. It will positively impact the immune system by triggering a similar response to a real-life infection.

The immunity response generated by vaccines wears off with time, and therefore, you may require additional booster jabs. Such extra doses may be provided after several intervals to ensure your immunity releases enough memory cells to combat any possible future infection from that specific pathogen.

Although immunizing people may preserve their well-being, vaccines can affect several individuals negatively. Individuals with compromised immunities, allergies, or some ailments are advised to avoid specific vaccination jabs.

Surprisingly, even if these persons fail to get immunized, they can be significantly safe from infection if most of the population is vaccinated. When most individuals have immunity against a microbe, it has a lower probability of circulating, spreading, and reaching the unvaccinated individuals.

Such a herd mentality approach to vaccination doesn’t guarantee full immunity for the unimmunized, but rather, it offers substantial defense if you cannot get the vaccination injection.

As the globe struggles with the ongoing pandemic, history shows that we can effectively use immunization to prevent illnesses that affect humans on a global scale. In the 1900s, the world struggled with the poliovirus, which brought about paralysis in many individuals. After viable vaccines were introduced and global vaccination drives were initiated,  almost all regions apart from Pakistan as well as Afghanistan were declared to be polio-free.

What Makes an Effective Vaccine and What’s the Process

Developing a vaccine is usually a complicated procedure that can require years and sensitive scientific techniques to complete. A ready to use vaccine contains the inactivated antigen component and other pharmaceutical ingredients.

Below is a detailed analysis of the various ingredients/ components that are necessary when formulating a viable vaccine:

The Pathogen Component

Including an inactivated antigen or antigen mRNA component in the vaccine is the most critical part of the vaccine development process. Without this component, the vaccine will not work at all.

The antigen component is the one that will cause an immunological response, which will boost an individual’s ability to fight off a specific infection. It may comprise a tiny portion of the infectious microbe or a whole microbe that has been inactivated.

Preservative Component

Vaccine preservatives reduce the probability of contamination while ensuring the vaccination vial can be utilized for several immunizations. Additionally, preservatives allow the vaccine to last longer without degrading the essential pathogen antigens.

However, not all vaccines have preservatives included in their composition. For instance, single-dose vaccines often lack preservatives since the remaining solution is usually discarded. In most cases, 2-phenoxyethanol is utilized to preserve vaccines since it has relatively low adverse health effects.

Vaccine Stabilizers

Stabilizers include various biomolecules that act together to avert chemical changes in the vaccine solution, which may alter the vaccination dosage’s efficiency. Vaccine stabilizers also prevent the antigens from binding with the interior surface of the vaccine container. Nowadays, vaccines contain gelatin, disaccharides, amino acids, and single-celled fungi (Yeast) extracts.

Vaccine surfactants

Surfactants are special additives that help maintain the vaccine in a single homogenized form. Such ingredients prevent the agglutination of vaccine components.

Residual components

Residual components refer to any ingredients that don’t include the active components such as the antigen, adjuvants, and surfactants. Different forms of vaccines come with diverse variations in their residual composition. Some firms use egg albumin or antibiotic agents, whereas others prefer using yeast extracts.

Vaccine Adjuvants

Adjuvants are special biochemical substances that improve the immune response to the introduction of a foreign infective antigen in the vaccination jab. Adjuvants help initiate cellular processes that stimulate antigen-presenting cells to hasten the overall immune response time.

Adjuvants help minimize the total number of boosters required to generate adequate antibodies specific to a particular disease. Adjuvants often comprise salt compounds of aluminum origin.


Vaccine diluents are aqueous solutions that are combined with other vaccine ingredients to ensure the solution has an appropriate concentration. One of the most prevalent diluents you can find in many vaccines is sterile water.

The Development Procedure for Vaccines

Immunization has been applied successfully over the decades, and currently, many nations are struggling to get COVID vaccine, which will be a significant milestone in combating the novel coronavirus disease.

As pharmaceutical and research firms attempt to improve the existing vaccine options into a final market-ready product, let’s look at the stringent techniques and processes involved in creating a new vaccine.

Image Alt tag: monitoring the development procedure for vaccines.

Before any biological agent is labeled a vaccine, it requires to undergo analysis and assessment to determine the optimal antigen which will have the capability to stimulate an immune reaction. Once this procedure is complete, the vaccine can move to the preclinical stage, where it undergoes a battery of biochemical and pharmacological assessments.

The preclinical stage strictly doesn’t involve any vaccine experiments on people. Such a potential vaccine requires several animal experimentation steps before initiating any human clinical tests/ trials.

If the vaccine displays a positive immunological reaction in model animals and doesn’t cause adverse allergic responses, it is considered for clinical trials that involve the following three stages:

Phase 1

In this initial stage, the potential vaccine undergoes safety and immunological experiments involving a few trial volunteers. Identification of the optimal safe dosage also occurs at this juncture.

Phase 1 assessments generally aim to confirm the evidence collected in pretrial studies. In these tests, it would be best to have young, fit grownups as vaccine volunteers.

Phase 2

Once all requirements of phase 1 are attained, the vaccine can undergo further safety and efficacy evaluations.  Phase 2 should ideally contain hundreds of vaccine volunteers, and these individuals should have similar traits as the final intended vaccination targets, for instance, similar age or gender.

Phase 2 trials often run numerous human studies to identify various test variations, such as varying formulations that can affect vaccine efficacy. Finally, a separate control group of unvaccinated volunteers is constituted to compare changes that may arise in the vaccinated volunteers.

Phase 3

Phase 3 trials typically have thousands of individuals who volunteer for the jab, whereas a similarly numbered multitude of unvaccinated volunteers also participates. The unvaccinated individuals receive a placebo instead of the attenuated microorganism, whereas the rest receive the vaccine.

In this phase, a random selection and testing technique known as blinding is employed in the trial. It involves purposefully hiding which volunteers receive the placebo or vaccine so that the researchers don’t influence the evaluations to favor a modified result of a potential vaccine’s safety and efficacy performance.

Once this phase is complete, the volunteers and researchers can receive info on who got the vaccine or placebo solution. On top of that, the vaccine must be submitted to the relevant health safety and related regulatory boards for market approval and mass production.

Overall, the procedure of bringing a new vaccine to the pharmaceutical market can take approximately 10-12 years and may cost a research firm or intuition roughly $500-$700 million.

Worryingly, the vaccine also requires several follow up procedures once it reaches the commercial level. Vaccines require market monitoring, whereby additional experiments facilitate monitoring and quality checks. Data on long-term impacts is also essential in assessing the safety of novel and old vaccines.

The coronavirus’s (SARS-COV-2) severity has affected how nations plan to get COVID vaccine. Virtually all research firms involved in the race to formulate a COVID vaccine are utilizing an accelerated vaccine formulation protocol that takes less than a year to complete all requirements.

Up-To-Date Information Regarding Promising COVID-19 Vaccines

There is a lot of buzz regarding the three top COVID-19 vaccines, including the Pfizer, Moderna, and Oxford options, and many individuals are looking forward to their official roll-outs. However, you can also identify and get COVID vaccine alternatives that are on the way to the market.

Below are detailed overviews of six COVID vaccines that may help contain and manage this respiratory virus’s prevalence.

1. The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine

After the recent conclusion of the phase 3  trials, the Oxford vaccine was determined to offer a mean efficacy rate of 70%. Administering the vaccine by giving two whole doses was found to provide a lower efficacy rate of 62%.

However, additional research shows that the vaccine can offer 90% efficacy when provided in an initial semi-dosage and a subsequent, whole dosage.

The Oxford vaccine’s clinical trial comprised of close to 25000 volunteer participants. At the end of the study, none of the vaccinated individuals were hospitalized, nor did they develop severe COVID-19 manifestations. The final trial reports involving this vaccine are likely to be out by the end of 2020.

The Oxford vaccine is being developed by molecular recombination techniques that extract a specific surface protein from the coronavirus and joins it with a cold virus extracted from a chimpanzee specimen.

This new recombinant virus undergoes attenuation to render it inactive and will be the main active component that will trigger an immune reaction when injected into a patient. With time the patient will get COVID vaccine antibodies thanks to the vaccination jab. One oxford vaccine jab is expected to cost no more than $3; however, this assumption is dependent on the current proposed EU deal.

2. The Pfizer Vaccine

The Pfizer vaccine results from a partnership between two firms, BioNTech and Pfizer, which boasts of a 90% efficacy in protecting individuals from COVID-19. It also doesn’t cause any adverse allergic reactions, and the only notable side effect is weariness, which only had a less than 4% occurrence rate.

In the United Kingdom, the administration has employed an independent drug and health regulatory institution to evaluate this vaccine and see if it is fit for its citizens.

Pfizer’s vaccine uses a slightly unconventional vaccine development procedure whereby a short live mRNA strand is weakened by treating it constantly with cold at roughly -70oc. Such a process makes the vaccine more costly and more challenging to create effectively.

Recent developments in the Pfizer vaccine formulation indicate that the manufacturing firm intends to make more than 1 billion vaccination prescriptions in the coming year. The two effectively protective jabs will cost roughly $35-$40 for the complete vaccination package.

The Moderna Vaccine

Among the top three, the Moderna vaccine is the only one still in the initial vaccine developmental phases. In a recently published clinical trial, close to 0.32% of all volunteers contracted a COVID-19 infection. Additionally, only 5.26% of those infected were immunized against the virus.

The clinical trials include numerous mature and senior citizens, making this vaccine more likely to be effective in high-risk individuals such as the old. The Moderna vaccine requires uncomplicated storage conditions that allow it to be viable and effective for up to half a year if stored at -20oc.

The vaccine can remain viable for up to a month when placed in an ordinary refrigerator (+2oc), which provides better portability and versatility than the Pfizer one.

It is estimated that a complete double dosage of this vaccine will go for between $57-$60, but this cost may be lower when the vaccine is finally ready. The Moderna vaccine comes with various side effects that include muscle and head pains.

The Sputnik vaccine

Russia has formulated its novel COVID vaccine through the Sputnik-V project. It is claimed that this vaccine offered a 92% efficacy rate during the final phase of clinical trials.

Sputnik is quite impressive, and the WHO is negotiating with its developers on the possible listing of the vaccine under the Emergency Use category. However, some nations, for instance, the UK, have concerns on recent issues affecting the vaccine’s trial procedures and data.

The Sinovac COVID vaccine

The china-made Sinovac vaccine is currently going through the final phases of clinical trials. The manufacturing firm indicates its expected roll-out time is likely to be in the first quarter of 2021.

Chinese authorities strongly believe in their in-house COVID preventative solution and have already initiated vaccination campaigns even though the final trials are not over.

The Imperial College Vaccine

Imperial College scientists have formulated a potential COVID vaccine. It uses artificially identical genetic matter, which provokes the body to synthesize the COVID-19 surface polypeptides that induce an immune reaction to generate specific pathogen-fighting antibodies. Clinical studies are yet to begin.


Nations are scrambling to get COVID vaccines as it becomes inherently clear that prevention can help turn the tide in this pandemic.

Some administrations are using radical approaches such as challenge trials to hasten the vaccine discovery process.

However, since there are several viable candidates, an effective vaccination solution may be obtainable sooner than later.