Biontech, Astrazeneca, Moderna and Co.
Developing a new vaccine is a Herculean task. Various vaccines are approved against corona in Germany. Here is an overview.
Munich – Covid-19 vaccines are one of the most important pillars in the fight against the corona pandemic. At the beginning of the corona pandemic, a race began around the world to develop an effective and safe vaccine against the then novel coronavirus Sars-CoV-2. Because it quickly became clear that only a vaccine can stop the coronavirus. In the meantime, researchers have developed vaccines against the coronavirus or are working flat out on promising vaccine candidates.
These Covid-19 vaccines are available in Germany
Various vaccines against Covid-19 are currently approved in Germany. There are currently two mRNA vaccines from Biontech / Pfizer and Moderna, as well as the two vector vaccines from Astrazeneca and Johnson & Johnson. Biontech / Pfizer’s vaccine was the first vaccine to be approved in Germany in December 2020. The Federal Ministry of Health describes the start of vaccination in Germany on December 27th as a “milestone”. But the vaccination campaign was sluggish from the start. Frustration with vaccination spread. The vaccine was running short due to late orders. In the meantime, the vaccination rate is picking up speed in this country. Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) promised that those willing to vaccinate in Germany will receive a vaccination offer at the end of August. On the so-called Impfdashboard.de the ministry keeps the population informed about vaccination rates.
Corona vaccine: chronology of the approvals in Germany
- The Biontech / Pfizer vaccine was approved in Germany on December 21, 2020.
- Moderna approval on January 6, 2021
- Astrazeneca vaccine on January 29, 2021
- Johnson & Johnson on March 11, 2021
Overview of corona vaccines in Germany (as of June 7, 2021)
|Manufacturer||vaccine||Vaccine class||Age of people according to approval||Recommended vaccination interval||Effectiveness after 14 days – 1st vaccination||Effectiveness after complete vaccination||Effectiveness against severe courses|
|Biontech / Pfizer||Corminaty||mRNA||from 12 years||between 3 and 6 weeks||80%||95%||95%|
|Moderna||COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna||mRNA||from 18 years||between 4 and 6 weeks||80%||95%||91%|
|Astrazeneca||Vaxzervria||vector||from 18 years||12 weeks||60%||80%||100%|
|Johnson & Johnson||COVID-19 Vaccine Janssen||vector||from 18 years||Single vaccination||65%||70%||75%|
Source: Robert Koch Institute / Paul Ehrlich Institute
Corona vaccine from Johnson & Johnson
The latest corona vaccine is that of Johnson & Johnson – called Janssen – it is considered a “game changer”. The vector vaccine has several advantages: With Janssen, only one vaccination is required. The vaccine can be easily stored in the refrigerator and is considered to be very cheap.
Disadvantages: Thrombosis cases have occurred with the Johnson & Johnson preparation in the USA. There are rare thromboses in the brain. It is about the “thrombosis-with-thrombocytopenia syndrome” (TTS), in which blood clots and, at the same time, low blood platelet levels occur. In Germany, according to the highest drug authority – the Paul Ehrlich Institute (PEI) – there have not yet been any TTS reports from Johnson & Johnson, but we have so far given comparatively few doses of the vaccine. The Standing Vaccination Commission (Stiko) recommends the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for people aged 60 and over. However, if they have been informed by a doctor and “accept the risk”, younger people who want to be vaccinated can also be vaccinated with Janssen.
Corona vaccine from Astrazeneca
Astrazeneca was considered THE bearer of hope in the corona pandemic. Then the British-Swedish pharmaceutical company’s delivery problems caused negative headlines. The Vaxzevria vaccine from Astrazeneca caused thrombosis in the brain in very rare cases. The Paul Ehrlich Institute (PEI) was reported to have received around 8.5 million vaccine doses by May 25, 94 cases of TTS in Germany, 17 people died. Two thirds of those affected are younger than 60.
The vector vaccine is only recommended by Stiko for vaccinating people over 60 years of age. The EU Commission has not extended its order from the British-Swedish manufacturer Astrazeneca for the period after June. The effectiveness of Vaxzervria is even up to 100 percent.
mRNA vaccines from Biontech and Moderna
The vaccines from Biontech / Pfizer and Moderna are mRNA vaccines. The genetically produced vaccines were first used in Germany on humans. The abbreviation mRNA stands for messenger ribonucleic acid. The mRNA vaccines against corona contain a genetic blueprint for part of the coronavirus – the spike protein on the outer shell. The mRNA of the RNA vaccines is broken down by the cells after a short time and is therefore harmless. However, the immune system recognizes the spike protein as a foreign body and activates its defense system.
One advantage: the mRNA vaccines can be quickly adapted to mutations. The corona vaccine is easier to produce than a vector vaccine, according to the website of the Federal Ministry of Health. However, the manufacture of the vaccine is very complex, which is why bottlenecks can occur again and again. Moderna and Biontech / Pfizer vaccines are considered very safe and effective. With Corminaty from Biontech / Pfizer, children and adolescents from the age of 12 in Germany can be vaccinated, with Moderna aktuell (as of June 6, 2021) from the age of 18.
Next Corona vaccines from all over the world
Like Astrazeneca, the Russian vaccine Sputnik V is a vector vaccine. Sputnik V is used in Russia and around 50 other countries. On June 7, 2021, Slovenia became the second country in the EU after Hungary to start vaccinating the Russian vaccine. Although there is initially no approval from the European Medicines Agency (EMA). There is also Chinese vaccine against the coronavirus: from the Chinese manufacturer Sinopharm and Sinovac. The World Health Organization (WHO) has granted emergency approval to both corona vaccines from China.
In Germany, the corona vaccine from the Tübingen-based company Curevac is about to be approved. More data would be collected for vaccine approval, Curevac announced in early June. These should be available in June. The preparation belongs to the mRNA vaccines. (ml) * Merkur.de is an offer from IPPEN.MEDIA