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Your Covid-19 questions answered

Why are there so many different Covid-19 vaccines?

05 July 2022 - 07:00
The scale of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 led to pharmaceutical companies and medical research centres rushing to develop vaccines against the virus. File photo.
The scale of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 led to pharmaceutical companies and medical research centres rushing to develop vaccines against the virus. File photo.
Image: REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/ File photo

There are several different Covid-19 vaccines available around the world, two of which are used in SA.

In a recent note to global healthcare workers, the World Health Organization (WHO) explained why there are so many different vaccines on the market,

It said the scale of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 led to pharmaceutical companies and medical research centres rushing to find a way to treat the virus.

As the global seriousness of the pandemic became rapidly apparent, development of effective vaccines for Covid-19 became the top priority of many pharmaceutical companies and medical research institutes.

“There was also unprecedented government and private sector investment in vaccine development. There is now a wide range of technologies for developing new vaccines and many of the organisations developing Covid-19 vaccines have experience in one or more of these technologies.”

It said the race to get a Covid-19 vaccine means that there will likely always be a vaccine available in areas where it is needed.

“This has ensured that there would still be vaccines available if some were not approved for reasons of efficacy, safety or manufacturing challenges.”

SA vaccination sites administer the Pfizer vaccine and Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccines.

The vaccines use different technology to help your body create a protein found on the virus and develop antibodies against future infection.

To date, 36.8-million doses have been administered, with 9-million J&J and 27.8-million Pfizer jabs given.

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