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Moderna vs. Pfizer: Both Knockouts, but One Seems to Have the Edge
Posted by: Speedy
Date: September 22, 2021 07:21PM
A series of studies found that the Moderna vaccine seemed to be more protective as the months passed than the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Here’s why.

[www.nytimes.com]

It was a constant refrain from federal health officials after the coronavirus vaccines were authorized: These shots are all equally effective.

That has turned out not to be true.

Roughly 221 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine have been dispensed thus far in the United States, compared with about 150 million doses of Moderna’s vaccine. In a half-dozen studies published over the past few weeks, Moderna’s vaccine appeared to be more protective than the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in the months after immunization.

The latest such study, published on Wednesday in The New England Journal of Medicine, evaluated the real-world effectiveness of the vaccines at preventing symptomatic illness in about 5,000 health care workers in 25 states. The study found that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine had an effectiveness of 88.8 percent, compared with Moderna’s 96.3 percent.

Research published on Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the efficacy of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine against hospitalization fell from 91 percent to 77 percent after a four-month period following the second shot. The Moderna vaccine showed no decline over the same period.

If the efficacy gap continues to widen, it may have implications for the debate on booster shots. Federal agencies this week are evaluating the need for a third shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for some high-risk groups, including older adults.

Scientists who were initially skeptical of the reported differences between the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines have slowly become convinced that the disparity is small but real.



Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.
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Re: Moderna vs. Pfizer: Both Knockouts, but One Seems to Have the Edge
Posted by: rgG
Date: September 22, 2021 07:33PM
One wonders if the Moderna second shot being given four weeks after the first rather than the three week spread for the Pfizer has any impact on the efficacy.





Roswell, GA (Atlanta suburb)
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Re: Moderna vs. Pfizer: Both Knockouts, but One Seems to Have the Edge
Posted by: mrbigstuff
Date: September 22, 2021 07:39PM
I only get my advice from the pharmaceutical companies. I'll wait to see what my guy Pfizer has to say.
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Re: Moderna vs. Pfizer: Both Knockouts, but One Seems to Have the Edge
Posted by: Speedy
Date: September 22, 2021 07:55PM
Quote
rgG
One wonders if the Moderna second shot being given four weeks after the first rather than the three week spread for the Pfizer has any impact on the efficacy.

“Moderna’s vaccine relies on a lipid nanoparticle that can deliver the larger dose. And the first and second shots of that vaccine are staggered by four weeks, compared with three for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

The extra week may give immune cells more time to proliferate before the second dose, said Dr. Paul Burton, Moderna’s chief medical officer. “We need to keep studying this and to do more research, but I think it’s plausible.”



Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.
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Re: Moderna vs. Pfizer: Both Knockouts, but One Seems to Have the Edge
Posted by: mattkime
Date: September 22, 2021 08:00PM
Yeah, there are a number of variables at play and it will likely take some time to sort out whats important. At least I hope we're able to pursue further refinements.



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Re: Moderna vs. Pfizer: Both Knockouts, but One Seems to Have the Edge
Posted by: Don C
Date: September 22, 2021 09:49PM
My second Pfizer shot was delayed due to weather so I had an extra week between doses. Wonder if that makes any difference?

Got my third shot this weekend, so presumably the question is moot.

Both wife and I had more soreness at the injection site on this one than the first two. Wife complained about her soreness for a couple of days; I don't know if that pertains to more real pain than I had or less tolerance for pain than I have.
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Re: Moderna vs. Pfizer: Both Knockouts, but One Seems to Have the Edge
Posted by: AllGold
Date: September 22, 2021 10:40PM
When people say the vaccine was rushed--it wasn't--this the only instance where more time and variability of testing might have helped clarify things.

If we didn't have the urgency of a pandemic that was raging out of control, we could have tried different times. But obviously, slowing down the process just wasn't worth it.



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Re: Moderna vs. Pfizer: Both Knockouts, but One Seems to Have the Edge
Posted by: mattkime
Date: September 22, 2021 10:47PM
Quote
AllGold
If we didn't have the urgency of a pandemic that was raging out of control, we could have tried different times. But obviously, slowing down the process just wasn't worth it.

What is the standard for this sort of thing? How often are drug trial repeated with such a change?
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Re: Moderna vs. Pfizer: Both Knockouts, but One Seems to Have the Edge
Posted by: DeusxMac
Date: September 23, 2021 07:51AM
Quote
mattkime
Quote
AllGold
If we didn't have the urgency of a pandemic that was raging out of control, we could have tried different times. But obviously, slowing down the process just wasn't worth it.

What is the standard for this sort of thing? How often are drug trial repeated with such a change?

“The fastest time for vaccine development [previously] is actually four years… Vaccinologist Maurice Hilleman isolated the mumps virus from his daughter in 1963, which led to the licensed Mumpsvax vaccine in 1967. It is still used today as part of the measles, mumps and rubella, or MMR, vaccine.”
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Re: Moderna vs. Pfizer: Both Knockouts, but One Seems to Have the Edge
Posted by: space-time
Date: September 23, 2021 07:59AM
correct me if I am wrong, but I believe the Pfizer-BioNTech has received full authorization (at least for people over 18, I think kids 12-17 are still under emergency authorization) but Moderna is still on emergency authorization stage for people over 16 (and not available for kids under 16). Seems to me like FDA needs to review their priority list.
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Re: Moderna vs. Pfizer: Both Knockouts, but One Seems to Have the Edge
Posted by: AllGold
Date: September 23, 2021 05:29PM
Don't blame the FDA. The FDA gave full approval to Pfizer and not Moderna because Pfizer gave them all the data well before Moderna did.

As to Matt's question, I'm no expert but I think the Pfizer and Moderna Covid vaccines are the first mRNA vaccines used in humans, so there's no precedent.



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Re: Moderna vs. Pfizer: Both Knockouts, but One Seems to Have the Edge
Posted by: JoeH
Date: September 23, 2021 06:16PM
Quote
AllGold
Don't blame the FDA. The FDA gave full approval to Pfizer and not Moderna because Pfizer gave them all the data well before Moderna did.

As to Matt's question, I'm no expert but I think the Pfizer and Moderna Covid vaccines are the first mRNA vaccines used in humans, so there's no precedent.

First mRNA vaccines to be used successfully in humans, prior tests of other mRNA based vaccines did not work out well enough to get approval for use.
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Re: Moderna vs. Pfizer: Both Knockouts, but One Seems to Have the Edge
Posted by: mattkime
Date: September 23, 2021 07:05PM
There was nothing mRNA specific about my question. How do we iterate on drugs?



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Re: Moderna vs. Pfizer: Both Knockouts, but One Seems to Have the Edge
Posted by: Bill in NC
Date: September 24, 2021 08:19AM
Looks like I'll be heading to another state to get my Moderna vaccine.
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