Which Covid-19 Vaccine Should You Choose?

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  • Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “Which Covid-19 Vaccine Should You Choose?” – below is their description.

    Which vaccine should you choose?

    The number of vaccines against severe Covid-19 is poised to grow, as Johnson & Johnson and Novavax both announced positive results last week. Their looming authorization also raises the possibility of choice: Which vaccine do you want?

    The answer, and the reasons behind it, might not be what you expect.

    Neither of the new approaches appears as effective as the first shots that use a new technology called messenger RNA. Those—one from Pfizer and its partner BioNTech, the other from Moderna—prevented about 95% of symptomatic cases. The Novavax shot prevented 89%, and J&J’s shot was 66% effective.

    All four, plus vaccines that aren’t available in the U.S. from AstraZeneca, and those out of China and Russia, surpassed the 50% effectiveness level set by U.S. regulators for authorization.

    So should you hold out for the vaccine with the best numbers? Not necessarily. These aren’t therapies that you take to treat a disease. No one would take an antibiotic that’s 66% effective if one that’s 95% effective is available. But people getting immunized aren’t sick. Hopefully, they will never need that shot to do anything at all.

    Vaccines should be considered more of an insurance policy, one that you don’t ever want to use. Like car insurance, you want everyone to have it. The highest-risk people should get the most protection, since they are most likely to need it.

    That is key in a pandemic of respiratory disease, when a virus moves quickly from one person to the next, constantly mutating in ways that may maximize its efficiency in infecting and spreading.

    Vaccines put up hurdles, of various heights, by making it harder for the virus to take hold in a potential new victim. If the vaccines can block enough of the spread, on a broad scale, it will be harder for the virus to compete and eventually it will be out of the race.

    With less virus circulating, there will be less risk of exposure for everyone, whether they got the most powerful vaccines, less powerful ones or none at all.

    The good news with both the J&J and Novavax shots is their ease of distribution; they don’t need to be in a deep-freeze during transportation. The J&J immunization works with just a single shot. Both companies have pledged to produce millions of doses for the world in the coming months.

    So which shot should you get? The first one offered. Don’t cut in line. But may you get it soon, and need it never.—Michelle Fay Cortez

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    In This Story: AstraZeneca

    AstraZeneca plc/AB (LON: AZN) is a British-Swedish multinational pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical company with its headquarters in Cambridge, United Kingdom and Södertälje, Sweden. Its R&D is concentrated in Cambridge in United Kingdom, Södertälje in Sweden, and Maryland and Toronto in North America.

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  • In This Story: COVID-19

    Covid-19 is the official WHO name given to the novel coronavirus which broke out in late 2019 and began to spread in the early months of 2020.

    Symptoms of coronavirus

    The main symptoms of coronavirus are:

    • a persistent new cough (non productive, dry)
    • a high temperature (e.g. head feels warm to the touch)
    • shortness of breath (if this is abnormal for the individual, or increased)

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    Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) is an American multinational pharmaceutical corporation headquartered in New York City. In 2012, it was one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies and ranked 57 on the 2018 Fortune 500 list of the largest United States corporations by total revenue.

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    Russia, or the Russian Federation, is a transcontinental country located in Eastern Europe and Northern Asia. It extends from the Baltic Sea in the west to the Pacific Ocean in the east, and from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea in the south.

    Russia spans more than one-eighth of the Earth’s inhabited land area, stretching eleven time zones, and bordering 16 sovereign nations. Moscow is the country’s capital.

    The Soviet Union was dissolved in 1991 and since 1993 Russia been governed as a federal semi-presidential republic. Russia is a major great power, with the world’s second-most powerful military, and the fourth-highest military expenditure. As a recognised nuclear-weapon state, the country possesses the world’s largest stockpile of nuclear weapons.

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