Coronavirus Vaccines

What are the types of Coronavirus Vaccines ?

What are the types of Coronavirus Vaccines ?

Coronavirus Vaccines

There are four categories of vaccines in clinical trials: Whole Virus, Protein Subunit, Viral Vector and Nucleic Acid

Let’s try to know the difference between each type, the companies that manufacture them and how exactly they work in our bodies.


Whole Virus Vaccines 

whole virus vaccine

Whole Virus is classified into two types: Live Attenuated Vaccine and Inactivated Vaccine. 

  • Live attenuated vaccines use a weakened form of the virus that can still replicate without causing illness. live attenuated ones may risk causing disease in people with weak immune systems and often require careful cold storage, making their use more challenging in low-resource countries. 
  • Inactivated vaccines use viruses whose genetic material has been destroyed so they cannot replicate, but can still trigger an immune response. Inactivated virus vaccines can be given to people with compromised immune systems but might also need cold storage.

This technique is also used in manufacturing of Influenza Vaccines (Influvac Tetra Vaccine is available now for seasonal influenza vaccination) 

You can buy it from here Influvac Tetra Vaccine in Egypt 

  • Sinopharm Vaccines and Sinovac Vaccines are using whole virus technique, inactivated virus vaccines specifically in their manufacture. They are both manufactured by China. Both Vaccines are available in Egypt for vaccination. 

Both companies use similar technology, and the vaccines are mixed with an adjuvant, which is a substance added to vaccines to stimulate a stronger immune response.

The vaccines contain many proteins the immune system can respond to, stimulating the production of antibodies to fight COVID-19.

Recommended for: Anyone 18 or older. 

Dosage: Two shots, 21 days apart; fully effective two weeks after second shot.


You can now register for coronavirus vaccine through this link: 

Coronavirus Vaccine Registration Link 


What was Sinopharm and Sinovac efficacy in clinical trials?

Sinovac’s efficacy at preventing symptomatic infection was 51% in Brazil, 67% in Chile, 65% in Indonesia, and 84% in Turkey. The differences in results may be due to different variants circulating in each country at the time and differences in the populations included in the studies.

Sinopharm’s efficacy in preventing symptomatic infection was 78% in UAE, Bahrain, Egypt and Jordan combined.

As with all the COVID-19 vaccines for which data are available, efficacy against the more severe outcomes is greater. Efficacy against hospitalisation for Sinovac in Chile, Brazil and Turkey was 85%, 100% and 100%, respectively.


Nucleic Acid Vaccines

nucleic acid

Nucleic acid vaccines use genetic material ( RNA or DNA ) to provide cells with the instructions to make the antigen. In the case of COVID-19, this is usually the viral spike protein. Once this genetic material gets into human cells, it uses our cells’ protein factories to make the antigen that will trigger an immune response. These proteins stimulate an immune response, producing antibodies and developing memory cells that will recognize and respond if the body is infected with the actual virus.

Pfizer BioNTech and Moderna Vaccines are using mRNA technique. 

Pfizer BioNTech has become the first vaccine for people ages 12 and older. 

Recommended for: Anyone 12 or older. The vaccine is being studied in children ages 5-11.

Dosage: Two shots, 21 days apart; fully effective two weeks after second shot.

Both Companies are not available in Egypt. 

Moderna is not yet approved for children.

Dosage: Two shots, 28 days apart; fully effective two weeks after the second dose.


What are the advantages of Nucleic Acid Vaccines ? 

The advantages of Nucleic Acid Vaccines are:

  • They are easy to make, and cheap.
  • Since the antigen is produced inside our own cells and in large quantities, the immune reaction should be strong.
  • In addition, RNA vaccines need to be kept at ultra-cold temperatures, -70C or lower, which could prove challenging for countries that don’t have specialized cold storage equipment, particularly low and middle-income countries.


Viral Vector Vaccines

viral vector

Viral vector vaccines also work by giving cells genetic instructions to produce antigens. But they differ from nucleic acid vaccines in that they use a harmless virus, different from the one the vaccine is targeting, to deliver these instructions into the cell. One type of virus that has often been used as a vector is adenovirus, which causes the common cold. As with nucleic acid vaccines, our own cellular machinery is hijacked to produce the antigen from those instructions, in order to trigger an immune response. Viral vector vaccines can mimic natural viral infection and should therefore trigger a strong immune response. However, since there is a chance that many people may have already been exposed to the viruses being used as vectors, some may be immune to it, making the vaccine less effective.

AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson are using Viral Vector technique.

Both Vaccines are available in Egypt. Johnson and Johnson is specified for people travelling outside the country. 

You can now register for both vaccines through this link: 

Coronavirus Vaccine Registration Link 


Johnson & Johnson Vaccine | Janssen company in Egypt

this is a carrier, or virus vector, vaccine. It can be stored in normal refrigerator temperatures, and because it requires only a single shot, it is easier to distribute and administer. Johnson and Johnson is specified for people who are in hurry travelling outside Egypt. 

Recommended for: Adults 18 and older.

Dosage: Single shot. Fully effective two weeks after vaccination.


You can now register for Johnson and Johnson vaccine through this link and choose the travelling option on the Ministry of health website: 

Coronavirus Vaccine Registration Link 


AstraZeneca Vaccine in Egypt 

This vaccine is distinguished from some of its competitors by its lower cost, it’s cheaper to make per dose, and while some of the other vaccines must be stored frozen, this one can be stored in normal refrigeration for at least six months, making it easier to distribute.

Oxford-AstraZeneca is currently studying the efficacy of a booster shoot.

Recommended for: Adults 18 and older

Dosage: Two doses, four to 12 weeks apart

You can now register for AstraZeneca Vaccine on Ministry of health website: 

Coronavirus Vaccine Registration Link


Sputnik Vaccine is using Viral Vector Technique 

It’s a Russian Vaccine and it’s available in Egypt for vaccination. 

You can now register for Sputnik Vaccine on Ministry of health website: 

Coronavirus Vaccine Registration Link


Protein Subunit Vaccines

protein subunit

Subunit vaccines use pieces of the pathogen to trigger an immune response. Doing so minimizes the risk of side effects, but it also means the immune response may be weaker. This is why they often require adjuvants, to help boost the immune response. An example of an existing subunit vaccine is the hepatitis B vaccine.

Subunit vaccines contain fragments of protein and/or polysaccharide from the pathogen, which have been carefully studied to identify which combinations of these molecules are likely to produce a strong and effective immune response. Such vaccines are also relatively cheap and easy to produce, and more stable than those containing whole viruses or bacteria.


Novavax is using protein subunit vaccine technique. 

It’s an American Company, which in June 2021 announced its vaccine was more than 90% effective in a late-stage based clinical trial. It was on track to file an application for emergency use of its vaccine to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in the fourth quarter. It has been studied in combination with influenza vaccine giving positive results. This vaccine is not available in Egypt. 

Recommended for: The vaccine is being studied in people ages 12-84.

Dosage: 2 doses, three weeks apart



What are the reported side effects of coronavirus vaccines generally ? 

  • Fever.
  • Rash in the site of injection. 
  • Nausea. 
  • Vomiting.
  • Diarrhea. 
  • Extreme muscle pain. 
  • Muscle Ache. 
  • Itching. 
  • Difficulty in Breathing. 
  • Confusion. 
  • Headache. 
  • Injection site tenderness. 
  • pain.
  • warmth.
  • redness.
  • itching.
  • swelling.
  • bruising at the injection site. 



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