COVID-19 Vaccine Update – 3
Yesterday the US Food and Drug Administration gave a new emergency use authorization (EUA) for a second vaccine against COVID-19. Americans now have two vaccine options in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic: One from pharmaceutical company Pfizer and one from biotechnology company Moderna. Moderna’s vaccine is expected to be available next week.
The two vaccines are similar, but there are key differences that make Moderna’s vaccine “more flexible”.
Efficacy: Both the Moderna and the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine have shown similar efficacy levels of nearly 95%.
Structure: Both vaccines rely on a newer technology called mRNA, or messenger RNA, to work, although with slightly different structures and makeup.
Cold storage: Most importantly, Moderna’s vaccine does not need to be kept at super-cold temperatures, like Pfizer’s. The Pfizer vaccine can be put in the refrigerator for only up to five days before it expires. Moderna’s vaccine can be kept in a refrigerator for 30 days before it expires.
Dosage and timing: Moderna’s vaccine is administered as two 100-microgram doses given 28 days apart. Pfizer’s vaccine is administered as two 30-microgram doses given 21 days apart.
Age: Moderna’s vaccine is authorized to be used in people aged 18 and over, while the Pfizer vaccine was authorized for 16-year-olds and older.
Overall, whether you get the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine—or another vaccine that may be authorized by the FDA down the line, experts highly recommend to get vaccinated.
Disclaimer: The information is intended to provide general education for patients and their families. The information provided does not constitute medical or health care advice for any individual and is not a substitute for medical and other professional advice and service.