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Difference Between Sinovac Vaccine and Pfizer

Sinovac vaccine is a Covid-19, vaccine that was developed by a laboratory in China and is marketed under the name CoronaVac. The Pfizer vaccine is a Covid-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer, Inc., and BioNTech.

What is Sinovac Vaccine?

Information about Sinovac vaccine: Definition

Sinovac vaccine is a coronavirus, Covid-19, vaccine that was developed by a laboratory in Beijing, China and is marketed under the name CoronaVac.

Formation of Sinovac vaccine:

The Sinovac vaccine is made from inactivated particles of the coronavirus Covid-19, and is made using a traditional approach to vaccine production. The live virus is made inactive using a chemical called beta propiolactone, which is mixed with an adjuvant, namely alum. It is important to realize that the entire Covid-19 virus is used to make this vaccine, unlike the case with mRNA vaccines.

Advantages of getting Sinovac vaccine:

Sinovac may produce a broader immune system response because the entire virus is used. This vaccine contains many proteins, not just one spike protein and so the immune system makes a memory of multiple antigens of the virus. This vaccine can be stored at refrigerator temperatures of between 2oC and 6oC, which is a big advantage since special storage is not needed, suggesting that this vaccine can be stored in more locations.

Any Disadvantages with Sinovac vaccine?

This type of vaccine is hard to rapidly mass produce in large quantities and may provoke too great of an immune response, making people feel much sicker than normal. This is a concern, although side effects are common with vaccinations. It is best if the risk of side effects is minimal with vaccines and that any effects are mild. Trials of the Sinovac vaccine showed varying levels of effectiveness from just over 50% to 78%, much lower than other Covid-19 vaccines; this places doubt on how well this vaccine works and how much protection it provides against coronavirus compared with other Covid-19 vaccines that have been developed. 

What is Pfizer Vaccine?

Information about Pfizer: Definition

The Pfizer vaccine is a vaccine developed by Pfizer, Inc., and BioNTech for use against the coronavirus, Covid-19.

Formation of Pfizer:

The mRNA is a nucleic acid similar to DNA, but the RNA is called a transcript, a literal copy of the DNA bases. During protein synthesis, an mRNA transcript travels to the cytoplasm of a cell where proteins are then made. The Pfizer vaccine is made by taking the mRNA, which codes for a spike protein of the virus, and then coating it with a type of lipid nanoparticle. This lipid coating functions to protect the nucleic acid. Once inserted into the body the mRNA triggers our immune system to respond.

Advantages of getting Pfizer:

The effectiveness after two doses of the Pfizer vaccine is high, at about 95%, suggesting that herd immunity can be easily achieved if enough people are vaccinated. Viruses like the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine can be made more quickly than traditional vaccines because they do not need to use the entire virus.

Is there any Pfizer vaccine’s Disadvantages

The vaccine has to be stored at very low temperatures of -80°C to -60°C; and sophisticated equipment is needed to produce the virus. Since the vaccine is made using mRNA, it means that contamination is a risk and the process of extracting and purifying the substance is highly technical, requiring a high level of skill in the manufacturing process. 

Difference between Sinovac vaccine and Pfizer?


The Sinovac vaccine was developed by a laboratory in Beijing, China under the name CoronaVac. The Pfizer vaccine was developed by two companies, Pfizer, Inc., and BioNTech.

How it is synthesized

Sinovac is a vaccine made from the entire inactivated virus. The Pfizer vaccine is made from a piece of mRNA of the virus.

Storage temperature for Sinovac vaccine and Pfizer

The Sinovac vaccine must be stored at temperatures in the range of 2oC to 6oC. The Pfizer vaccine must be stored at temperatures in the range of-80°C to -60°C.

Advantages of Sinovac vaccine vs. Pfizer

The advantages of the Sinovac vaccine are that making this vaccine does not require  sophisticated molecular biology equipment and it does not need to be stored at subzero temperatures. The advantages of the Pfizer vaccine are that it is quicker to produce than traditional vaccines and it that has a high effectiveness of about 95%.

Disadvantages of Sinovac vaccine vs. Pfizer

The Sinovac vaccine requires the entire virus to make it, and it may produce too strong of an immune system response; has a lower effectiveness than other vaccines, varying from just over 50% to 78%; this effectiveness is lower than in some other vaccines for Covid-19.  The Pfizer vaccine does require the use of sophisticated molecular biology equipment in order to make it, and it requires special storage at very low temperatures.

Table comparing Sinovac vaccine and Pfizer

Summary of Sinovac vaccine Vs. Pfizer

  • Both the Sinovac vaccine and Pfizer vaccine have been tested and show some effectiveness against Covid-19.
  • Two doses are required for both vaccines in order for the immune system to respond.
  • The Sinovac vaccine is made using the entire virus, which is inactivated.
  • The Pfizer vaccine is made using only a part of the virus, a piece of mRNA, which codes for a spike protein.

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1 Comment

  1. I have a question: Can someone who was vaccinated with Sinovac can be vaccinated again with Pfizer?

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References :

[0]Cohen, Jon. "China's vaccine gambit." Science (2020): 1263-1267.

[1]Mahase, Elisabeth. "Covid-19: Pfizer vaccine efficacy was 52% after first dose and 95% after second dose, paper shows." BMJ (2020): 371.

[2]Zhang, Yanjun, et al. "Safety, tolerability, and immunogenicity of an inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine in healthy adults aged 18–59 years: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 1/2 clinical trial." The Lancet Infectious Diseases (2020): 181-192.

[3]Image credit: https://pixabay.com/photos/covid-19-vaccine-vaccine-covid-19-5902833/

[4]Image credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:SINOVAC_COVID-19_vaccine.jpg

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