Germany Starts the Coronavirus Vaccination

Germany Starts the Coronavirus Vaccination

The first corona vaccine is administered in Germany. Since December 27, BioNTech/Pfizer has been used for vaccination against the coronavirus as the first vaccine approved in the EU. For adequate protection against illness, the dose is given twice with an interval of three weeks. About 95 out of 100 immunized people are then protected from disease with Covid-19 as per the data from the clinical studies on the vaccine suggest.

How long the protection lasts is unknown, but it is known how many people in Germany received one and later two vaccine dosesThe Robert Koch Institute wants to announce this information on working days with immediate effect. So far, there is data mainly on the absolute number of doses administered nationwide and in the individual federal states.

Russia and China have so far mainly relied on vaccines that were developed in their own country (more on this below in the article). Outside of the two countries, however, these play practically no role. In the USA and Great Britain, the BioNTech / Pfizer serum has been administered since the beginning and middle of December. It is now approved throughout the EU and in many other countries. In the USA and Canada, doctors and medical staff are also injecting the Moderna vaccine, which is very similar to the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine.

Approved Covid-19 vaccines will initially be administered nationwide in vaccination centers and with the help of mobile teams. The latter drive directly to retirement and care facilities, for example, to give people a dose by syringe in the upper arm. Since some federal states have not yet published all addresses, locations cannot yet be shown in some regions. However, if a city or a district has generally been confirmed as a location, we will locate the region with a transparent map point until the final address is published. Mobile vaccination teams are not shown.

The vaccine from BioNTech and Pfizer is only one of the first vaccines ever to have been approved against Covid-19 - first in the USA, then in other countries, and finally in the entire European Union. In the USA, an mRNA vaccine also has emergency approval, namely the serum from Moderna. The European Medicines Agency Ema will decide on conditional EU approval of this vaccine on January 6. In addition, vaccines have long been administered in Russia and China, about which little is known internationally. And finally, more than 230 teams worldwide are currently working on the development of further vaccine candidates against the coronavirus.

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  • A German company is particularly far with its vaccine. BioNTech, based in Mainz, has teamed up with the pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Fosun Pharma. On November 18, the companies announced that critical clinical tests on BNT162b2, which are required prior to approval, have been completed. As already indicated in an interim analysis, the vaccine shows a high level of effectiveness. In addition, it has so far proven to be safe, the companies said in a joint statement. BNT162b2, therefore, meets the conditions for an application for emergency approval in the USA to be possible. Shortly afterward, the companies announced that they had initiated the application.
  • The vaccine is currently approved temporarily, conditionally or by emergency regulation in more than 40 countries. Following the European Medicines Agency's recommendation, the EU Commission granted conditional marketing authorization for all 27 EU countries on December 21, 2021. EMA had already taken the first steps for the approval of BNT162b2. In a so-called rolling review process, the previously available data on the vaccine were checked, while and scientists will submit the studies' final results later.

Moderna and NIAID

  • US biotech company Moderna first to test its vaccine candidate in humans. The company is conducting its studies together with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a research institute of the United States' health authorities. The vaccine mRNA-1273 is genome-based. A report on the first clinical study was published in NEJM (Jackson et al., 2020). In the meantime, the US company has reported study results showing that the vaccine is more than 94 percent effective.
  • The vaccine has been on the market with emergency approval in the US since December 18, and Canada granted temporary approval on December 23. For the EU, the European Medicines Agency Ema wants to decide on approval on January 6, 2021.

Sinopharm and Beijing Institute of Biological Products

  • The second candidate from the Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinopharm comes from researchers at the Beijing Institute of Biological Products. For both candidates, the studies were scheduled in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). In early December, the UAE's Ministry of Health announced that it would approve the Beijing Institute of Biological Products vaccine. According to a press release, an interim analysis showed an effectiveness of 86 percent. Also, the vaccination saved 100 percent of the cases from a severe course. In total, the phase III study enrolled 31,000 people. The ministry did not disclose how many of these were taken into account in the interim analysis. It had already granted emergency approval for the vaccine in September.

Gamaleya Institute

  • The approval of a Gam-COVID-Vac vaccine, also called Sputnik V, from Moscow's Gamaleya Institute caused a sensation in early August. Russian President Vladimir Putin had announced that the vaccine would soon go into large-scale production and initially be offered to hospital staff and teachers. As initially announced, around 30 million cans should be produced by the end of 2020. The vaccine is based on the same principle as the vector vaccine developed by researchers at Oxford University. Despite the approval, the vaccine has not yet completed phase III studies. These are usually a basic requirement for an approval application for a vaccine.

CanSino Biologics

  • A vaccine against Covid-19 was approved in China in June. The vector vaccine contains an adenovirus as a vehicle and has not yet passed phase III studies - so it has not yet finally shown that it is safe and effective. Ad5-nCoV is primarily intended for emergency use within the Chinese military, reported the manufacturer CanSino Biologics on its website, which developed the active ingredient together with the Chinese Military Academy of Sciences. In May, the researchers reported in the Lancet (Zhu et al., 2020) that the vaccine had shown success in the first clinical studies.