2021 brought with it new life and hope for many of us. How we all survived the onslaught of a global pandemic seems unimaginable. As science continues to progress and Covid-19 vaccines are underway, days seem brighter than the last. Although it’s only the beginning, it is no doubt a big step away from being mired in our rooms for days, or rather months, on end.
As of writing, there have been 87.8M confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide and 1.88M related deaths. As we all continue to rework our lives around new precautions and health protocols, vaccines can’t seem to come any faster. However, due to the novelty of the disease and the vaccines themselves, a few remain sceptical about the latter’s safety and efficiency. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are two authorised Corona-19 vaccines to date: Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna. Besides these, there are three in ‘Phase 3’ or undergoing clinical trials, namely AstraZeneca, Janssen and Novavax.
PFIZER VS MODERNA
The Pfizer vaccine is reported to be 95 per cent effective at preventing laboratory-confirmed Covid-19 illness. It is administered in two shots, 21 days apart, on the muscle of the upper arm. Recorded side effects are mild to moderate chills, headaches, or tiredness. The Moderna vaccine, on the other hand, is reported to be 94.1 per cent effective and is administered similarly in two shots but this time 28 days apart. Reported side effects are similar to Pfizer’s as well.
Both vaccines are mRna types, which according to the CDC “teach[es] our cells how to make a protein—or even just a piece of a protein—that triggers an immune response inside our bodies. That immune response, which produces antibodies, is what protects us from getting infected if the real virus enters our bodies”. This differentiates Pfizer and Moderna from other non-Covid 19 vaccines which would typically put a weakened or inactivated germ into our bodies to trigger an immune response.