Coronavirus vaccine: What vaccine should you have? Is one better than the other?

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As the total global cases of coronavirus reaches the 60 million mark, the end of the pandemic is on the horizon, with three effective vaccines now expected to be ready for the end of 2020. The University of Oxford has announced it has completed successful trials of another vaccine which is 70 percent effective.

The vaccine, codenamed AZD1222, was developed at Oxford University with support from the pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca.

Only a month ago, no vaccine was expected to be trialled and approved by the end of the year, and it now looks like there could be three different vaccines in out for distribution by the end of 2020.

The invention of such vaccines against a virus identified barely a year ago is a remarkable scientific achievement.

Vaccines are yet to be approved by regulators, but millions of doses are ready to go and the NHS is being prepped for mass delivery.

AstraZeneca’s chief executive Pascal Soriot said: “Today marks an important milestone in our fight against the pandemic.

“This vaccine’s efficacy and safety confirm that it will be highly effective against COVID-19 and will have an immediate impact on this public health emergency.

“Furthermore, the vaccine’s simple supply chain and our no-profit pledge and commitment to broad, equitable and timely access means it will be affordable and globally available, supplying hundreds of millions of doses on approval.”

Speaking this morning in light of the news, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “It is subject to that regulatory approval and I really stress that because the medicines regulator, it’s called the MHRA, is independent, they’re rigorous, they’re one of the best regulators in the world.

“They will be very, very careful to ensure that they look at all the data to make sure that this is safe.

“Subject to that approval, we hope to be able to start vaccinating next month.

“The bulk of the vaccine rollout programme will be in January, February, March and we hope that sometime, after Easter, things will be able to start to get back to normal.”

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Which vaccine should I get?

As it currently stands, the Moderna vaccine, produced in America, offers 95 percent immunity to coronavirus.

In second place, the Pfizer vaccine originally showed 90 percent effectiveness but has now been bumped up to 95 percent.

These vaccines come with a major caveat – they both need to be stored at -70C, making distribution more difficult.

While the production of the vaccine is a remarkable triumph for scientists at Oxford and around the world, the Oxford vaccine has been found to show 70 percent protection against symptoms of COVID-19.

However, this vaccine does not need to be stored at such cold temperatures, making it much easier to distribute across the world.

What’s more, the Oxford vaccine was shown to be 90 percent effective when volunteers in the trial were given a half dose followed by a full dose.

Will I have a choice of which vaccine I get?

This is currently unclear. While the Government has ordered doses of each vaccine, more doses of the Oxford vaccine will be available due to the lack of issues with storing and transporting it.

It seems unlikely that individuals will be able to choose which vaccine they have – patients are not given the choice of which vaccine they receive when they get a regular flu jab – but most people don’t know the differences between varying vaccines.

Some 40 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine have been ordered, and 100 million of the Oxford vaccine, which will vaccinate 50 million people.

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