What do we know about the COVID-19 (coronavirus) vaccine?

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Novavax, a Maryland-based company working on an RNA vaccine, has been able to increase antibody response to COVID-19.

The company has reported the results of its Phase 1 trial, which reveal the levels of antibodies generated were about four times higher than those in individuals who are recovering from a COVID-19 infection.

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According to the New England Journal of Medicine, 7 known types of COVID-19 vaccines are being tested.

The types of vaccines being tested include inactivated vaccines, subunit vaccines, weakened, live viral vaccines, replicating viral vector vaccines, non-replicating viral vector vaccines, DNA vaccines and mRNA vaccines.

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A coronavirus vaccine developed by BioNTech can prevent more than 90% of people from getting COVID-19 (as of November 2020).

A vaccine by Pfizer and BioNTech has been tested on 43,500 people in six countries and no safety concerns have been raised. The data shows that two doses, three weeks apart, are needed. The trials—in US, Germany, Brazil, Argentina, South Africa and Turkey—show 90% protection.

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Some COVID-19 vaccines are being developed using cells originally isolated from foetal tissue (often referred to as foetal cells).

The foetal cells being used are derived from two sources (HEK-293 and PER.C6). HEK-293 is a kidney cell line that was isolated from a terminated foetus in 1972. PER.C6 is a retinal cell line that was isolated from a terminated foetus in 1985.

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