CNN  — 

Data on vaccines being tested by Johnson & Johnson and Novavax came out last week, and makers of AstraZeneca’s vaccine and Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine published some long-awaited details about their shots on Tuesday.

All indicate high efficacy against the virus, even though they take very different approaches.

Here’s how some of the top coronavirus vaccines and vaccine candidates work.


Pfizer and its German-based partner BioNTech use a new approach to making vaccines that uses messenger RNA or mRNA.

This design was chosen for a pandemic vaccine years ago because it’s one that lends itself to quick turnaround. All that is needed is the genetic sequence of the virus causing the pandemic. Vaccine makers don’t even need the virus itself – just the sequence.

In this case, BioNTech researchers used a littl