Just over 172 million people have received their first shot of Covid-19 vaccine as of February 16, 2021 – 2.2 for every 100 people. Eight vaccines are currently in use around the world, all of which require two shots. Pfizer/ BioNTech and Moderna are the world’s most known. That is expected to change over the coming weeks when Johnson & Johnson’s one-shot vaccine gets approval for use within the United States. As it stands, the first vaccine authorized for use in the U.S. is also the most widely used shot worldwide according to information from website Our World in Data which was reported by The New York Times.
Vaccines: Pfizer/ BioNtech
The Pfizer/BioNTech jab is one of two mRNA vaccines along with Moderna’s and it was found to be 95 per cent effective in Phase III trials. Israel’s real-world experience with the shot has closely replicated those results after the government obtained large quantities of the vaccine in exchange for sharing information on its effectiveness. Clalit Health Services, the country’s largest healthcare provider, has released the results of a study of more than half a million fully vaccinated Israelis which indicates the Pfizer/BioNTech shot provides 94 per cent protection.
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Vaccine: Moderna in 27 Countries
Israel and the United States are among 61 countries using the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine with the list also including the EU and Saudi Arabia. The other mRNA vaccine produced by Moderna was found to be 94 per cent effective in Stage III trials and it is being used in 27 countries. High hopes have been pinned on the Oxford/AstraZeneca shot due to its low cost and ease of storage, though it has proven controversial in some countries with Germany and Poland among those limiting its use to under-65s, citing a lack of data on its effectiveness in seniors. Currently, that jab is being distributed in 41 countries.
Elsewhere, China’s Sinopharm and Sinovac countries are in use in 10 and 6 countries, respectively, while a study in The Lancet has shown Russia’s Sputnik V to be highly effective with a 91.6 per cent efficacy. That figure, along with its low cost, has made it attractive for governments and nine are now using it. Hungary is among them despite Sputnik’s lack of approval from Brussels and it is also hoping to roll out the Sinopharm shot over the coming weeks. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has stated that all Covid-19 vaccines would be welcome in the EU once they gain approval.
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