The Covid-19 pandemic caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus has been around for over a year now. Experts believe that the best way to handle this pandemic is through vaccination. That is why scientists around the world have been focusing on developing effective vaccines since the beginning of this pandemic. At the time of writing, 7 covid vaccines (vaksin coronavirus) have been given the green light by the World Health Organization (WHO) to be used as emergency use listing (EUL) to combat the virus.
What is EUL?
The development of a vaccine is a long process that can take several years to be available to the public. This is because the quality, safety, and effectiveness of those vaccines have to be tested under different phases of clinical trials before they can be used. Hence why the WHO developed the EUL to ensure faster access of vaccines to the public. EUL is done to make medicine, tests, and vaccines available as fast as possible during an emergency such as this Covid-19 pandemic by assessing the risks and benefits of the product to the public.
List of covid vaccines approved by the WHO
Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine, also known as COMIRNATY® was the first vaccine to get approved by WHO. This mRNA-based vaccine has been used in 101 countries and has an efficacy rate of 95% after the completion of both doses. This vaccine is administered intramuscularly for individuals aged 12 years and older. Its second dose should be given about 21-28 days after the first dose.
Two versions of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine have been listed as EUL. The vaccines are produced initially by the AstraZeneca-SKBio (Republic of Korea) and then a newer version by the Serum Institute of India (named CoviShield). The key difference between these 2 versions is that the latter offers protection against the Beta variant of coronavirus. These vaccines are of a non-replicating viral vector type, meaning the vaccine contains the genetic information of the virus but is unable to make more copies of itself in the human body. Similar to COMIRNATY®, this vaccine is given to adults aged 18 and above in 2 doses, at least 8-12 weeks apart, and has an efficacy rate of 63.09% against symptomatic Covid-19 infection.
Moderna vaccine is an mRNA-type vaccine that is known to have an efficacy rate of 94.1% against Covid-19. In addition, its protection also covers the new variants of the virus, including the B.1.1.7 and the 501Y.V2. This vaccine is given to adults aged 18 years and older in 2 doses, at least 28 days apart.
- Janssen ( Johnson & Johnson)
This non-replicating viral vector vaccine is recommended for people aged 18 and above. Janssen vaccine has an efficacy rate of 85.4% against severe infection and 93.1% against hospitalization. Unlike the vaccines mentioned earlier, the Janssen vaccine is given in a single dose and is effective after 28 days of inoculation.
Sinovac-CoronaVac is an inactivated type of vaccine produced by a Chinese company Sinovac Biotech. This vaccine is still under Phase III of clinical trials and it has been approved based on the current interim data that showed a positive benefit over potential risk. According to the available data, this vaccine is about 50.65% effective against symptomatic infection. The recommended dosing of this vaccine is 2 doses with an interval of 2-4 weeks.
Sinopharm is an inactivated vaccine produced by a Beijing-based vaccine company. This vaccine is given in 2 doses, spaced between 3-4 weeks, and has an efficacy of 79% for both symptomatic infections and hospitalizations. WHO recommends giving this vaccine to individuals aged 18 years and older.
All in all, covid vaccinations (vaksin coronavirus) are an important aspect in fighting this pandemic. However, vaccinations alone are not sufficient in fighting this pandemic. You should continue wearing face masks, practice social distancing, and handwashing even if you are fully vaccinated.