Here's How the Three COVID-19 Vaccines Compare

None of the vaccine companies have reported any major safety problems.  

For Pfizer’s and Moderna’s vaccines, the most common side effects were sore arms lasting more than a day, fevers and fatigue. 

They’re not at all what we call serious, but they’re notable,” Schaffner said. “That’s much more than you get with flu vaccine.” 

AstraZeneca said no serious safety problems have been identified but has not released details.  

The company paused the trial twice because two study participants developed serious neurological problems.  

The study’s safety board said they were coincidental and not because of the vaccine, but outside experts have not yet seen the data.  

You’d like to see all that information, and we don’t have that information,” Offit said. 

AstraZeneca may have the most doses available early.  

CEO Pascal Soriot did not specify exact numbers but said the company will have “hundreds of millions of doses on approval.” The company has agreements to produce 1.7 billion doses worldwide, including a deal with the Serum Institute of India to produce 1 billion doses mainly for low- and middle-income countries.  

Pfizer says it will produce 50 million doses worldwide by the end of this year and up to 1.3 billion doses next year. 

Moderna aims to ship 20 million doses in the United States this year and 500 million to 1 billion doses globally in 2021. 

All three companies have taken the extremely unusual step of scaling up manufacturing before the results of their clinical trials were in. That means doses can start being distributed as soon as regulators give the green light.  

Moderna and AstraZeneca did so with government funding. Pfizer had government purchase guarantees.

AstraZeneca’s vaccine is the easiest to ship and store. It lasts for at least 6 months in the refrigerator.  

Moderna’s and Pfizer’s vaccines need to be frozen for long-term storage. Moderna’s lasts at least a month in the refrigerator. Pfizer’s needs special ultra-cold freezers that are not commonly available outside academic medical centers and lasts up to five days in the refrigerator.  

AstraZeneca’s is cheapest.  

The company has pledged not to make a profit on the vaccine during the pandemic. Shots are expected to cost under $5 each, compared with around $20 to $40 for the other vaccines, according to news reports. 

Since governments will be the main buyers, cost will be a factor mainly in low- and middle-income countries, and with nonprofit and public-private groups who will be purchasing and distributing the vaccines.  

This article is published courtesy of the Voice of America (VOA).