Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna are showing more than 95% effective and Sputnik V is 91.4% effective. So the question is why keep working on hundreds of COVID-19 vaccines for development?
- We need a range of vaccines that can work for a range of people
The need for a range of COVID-19 vaccines is because it is for a range of people and occupations; including healthcare workers, first responders, elder and anyone with underlying conditions. Currently we don’t have complete efficacy data from phase III clinical trials. Not having this data it’s uncertain how the vaccines will hold up for different ages, ethnic backgrounds, different immune systems in different countries. How long will immunity last and will it stop the transmission?
Just having one or two vaccines might not be effective for everyone. Having a varied COVID-19 vaccine portfolio would give us more confidence to find the right vaccine.
2. We need to produce billions of vaccines doses to protect those most at risk
To bring the pandemic under control around the world by 2021 we will need at least 2 billion vaccine doses. Never in our time have we licensed or scaled-up an RNA vaccine before. The technology that both Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines use could have unforeseen manufacturing challenges (production, volumes).
Producing and investigating multiple vaccines could help produce the volume needed to get this pandemic under control.
3. We need vaccines that can reach everyone, everywhere
We need vaccines that can reach everyone in the wold. Metropolitan, rural areas, Africa and Asia. Transportation and refrigeration will be needed. Both Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna need extreme refrigeration. This type of cold storage has never been rolled out to so many countries at once.
Dosing will pose another challenge as both manufacturers require two doses. These dose are spread out 21/days apart. Developing a single dose and given once would be ideal. This will help in areas where getting two doses is difficult.
Continuing to investigate multiple candidates is key to getting a single dose with less storage requirements.
Around the world their needs to be access to vaccines, treatment and test for us to be able to overcome this pandemic. With so many manufacturers coming to the table this allows everyone the chance to get vaccinated with the proper dosage for their needs.