Amid the rising coronavirus cases across the globe, two pharmaceutical companies have made big announcements recently. After Pfizer-BioNTech, US based pharma firm Moderna announced on November 16 that its vaccine candidate is nearly 95 per cent effective in preventing the deadly virus. The company also said that it will produce around 20 million of vaccine doses by 2020-end, while Pfizer had said that it is planning to produce nearly 50 million vaccine doses this year.
While Pfizer, which released a sample of their vaccine BNT162b2, said that it will expand their production and increase to producing 1.2 billion units by next year, Moderna, on the other hand, announced that it is planning to increase production between 500 million and one billion. Now, the recent announcement of the potential vaccine can start for the future win against the COVID-19, however, the supply of will be restricted to countries that already have a deal with the manufacturers. Among them, the United States has a deal with both Pfizer and Moderna for vaccine supply.
The Indian government is in dialogue with both domestic and international vaccine manufacturers for the purchase of it. According to PTI, not only Moderna, but the government is also in communication with Pfizer, SerumInstitute, Bharat Biotech and Zydus Cadila for their Covid-19 vaccine candidate in terms of safety, immunogenicity and efficacy. Europe also has a deal with both the US-based firms for 200 million doses.
Meanwhile, Moderna's vaccine appears to be more durable than Pfizer's due to its less rigid storage requirements. Despite the advantages of storing the vaccine in an ordinary refrigerator, it is still too early to declare it a winner because it remains largely untested outside the study subjects. The challenge of matching the vaccine type with the available supply chain and the people who will receive the vaccine could also make a world of difference, which suggests that there may be a need for both vaccines.
Vaccine's immunity range — how long it will last; as of now, the test volunteers have only just been treated so there is no concrete data to determine how long they can manage to stay without risking reinfection. The effectiveness of the vaccine in different age groups is also not fully understood at the moment. Another red flag is that both studies do not reveal whether the vaccine simply stops people from becoming severely ill or if it stops them from spreading the virus too.