Which Covid-19 vaccines does the UK have access to?

Johnson & Johnson has become the second company in 24 hours to publish promising results from its Covid-19 vaccine trials.

The firm’s pharmaceutical arm Janssen reported its vaccine was 66% effective overall at preventing moderate to severe coronavirus 28 days after vaccination.

It comes as Novavax revealed on Thursday that its jab was 89% effective at preventing Covid-19.

Both vaccines are yet to be given the go-ahead by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), but the UK has secured access to millions of doses.

So what other vaccines does the UK have access to?

– What types of vaccine have been ordered?

– Adenoviral vaccines: These are based on weakened versions of adenoviruses, which are a group of viruses that typically infect membranes of the eyes, respiratory tract, urinary tract, intestines and nervous system, and include the common cold.

– mRNA vaccines: Traditional vaccines are made up of small or inactivated doses of the whole disease-causing organism, or the proteins that it produces, which are introduced into the body to provoke the immune system into mounting a response. But mRNA vaccines trick the body into producing some of the viral proteins itself.

How the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine works
How the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine works

– Inactivated whole virus vaccines: Inactivated vaccines contain whole bacteria or viruses which have been killed, or small parts of bacteria or viruses, such as proteins or sugars, which cannot cause disease.

– Protein adjuvant vaccines: An adjuvant is added to some vaccines to enhance the immune response, and has been shown to create a stronger and longer lasting immunity against infections than the vaccine alone.

The use of an adjuvant may reduce the amount of vaccine protein required per dose, which allows more vaccine doses to be produced.

The UK has placed orders for vaccines from:

– BioNTech and Pfizer

Type: mRNA
Doses: 40 million – enough for 20 million people

The vaccine is being rolled out across the UK, having been approved for use on December 2 last year.

– Oxford and AstraZeneca

Type: Adenovirus
Doses: 100 million – enough for 50 million people

How the Oxford Covid-19 vaccine works
How the Oxford Covid-19 vaccine works

The jab is being administered throughout the UK, after getting the green light from the MHRA on December 30.

– Moderna

Type: mRNA
Doses: 17 million – enough for 8.5 million people

The jab from the US biotech firm has been approved for use in the UK, but doses will not be available until the spring.

– Novavax

Type: Protein adjuvant.
Doses: Under the in-principle agreement, the UK has secured 60 million doses of the Novavax vaccine

The UK is providing infrastructure to Novavax in running a phase three clinical trial in the UK, and plans to manufacture its vaccine in the UK with Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies.

Results from those trials show the vaccine offers 89% protection against Covid-19, but it still requires approval from the MHRA, which could take several weeks.

– Janssen

Type: Adenovirus
Doses: Some 30 million doses have been secured from Janssen, which is owned by Johnson & Johnson

Results from clinical studies show the jab is 66% effective overall at preventing moderate to severe Covid-19 28 days after vaccination.

Deliveries of the vaccine are expected in the second half of 2021, should it receive approval from the MHRA.

– Valneva

Type: Inactivated whole virus
Doses: There is an in-principle agreement for 60 million doses. If the vaccine is proven to be safe, effective and suitable, the UK has secured an option to acquire a further 40 million doses

Valneva’s site in Livingston, West Lothian, will manufacture the vaccine. Clinical trials are ongoing.

– GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Sanofi Pasteur

Type: Protein adjuvant
Doses: 60 million

Clinical trials for the vaccine are ongoing. Interim results of early phases of the trial showed an immune response comparable to patients who recovered from Covid-19 in adults aged 18 to 49 years, but a low immune response in older adults.