Moderna and Pfizer: Which vaccine should you choose against Covid-19?
Among the various labs that have developed a Covid-19 vaccine, two pharmaceutical groups are doing well, and for good reason Moderna and Pfizer / BioNTech have excelled in the vaccine race. But what are the differences between these two vaccines with fairly similar profiles?
Different laboratories have developed various vaccines against Covid-19. While some are in the final phase of human clinical trials, others have been approved by some countries. This is the case of the vaccine manufactured by the Pfizer and BioNTech laboratories. On December 21, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and then the European Commission granted their marketing authorization in Europe.
The European regulator will also have to issue, in a few days, its verdict on the authorization of the vaccine developed by the American laboratory Moderna, whose emergency use was authorized by the United States Agency for Medicines (FDA) on December 18. The institution was supposed to vote on this authorization on January 4, but "the EMAs discussions on the Modern vaccine against Covid-19 will not end tonight. They will continue on Wednesday," the EMA said in a statement on January 4.
If the European Medicines Agency launches the Moderna vaccine, two formulas will be distributed in Europe. But which one should you choose? What are the differences between Modernas vaccine and the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine? What do they have in common?
Modern, Pfizer: Covid-19 Messenger RNA Vaccines
These revolutionary vaccines look very similar. As proof: they both use a new messenger RNA technology. The two pharmaceutical companies used this technology, which had never been licensed for a vaccine before. This method consists of using a coronavirus genetic sequence (M RNA). Scientists inject this genetic information into a cell. This will allow the body to produce the viral protein Spike, which is the virus protein, which triggers a safe immune response.
Covid-19: Are Moderna and Pfizer Vaccines Effective and Safe?
These two formulas have been shown to be effective against Covid-19. In a study published December 10 in The New England Journal of Medicine, laboratories Pfizer and BioNTech reported that two doses of their vaccine "conferred 95% protection against Covid-19 in people 16 years of age and older."
As for Modernas vaccine, it "has shown an efficacy of 94.1% in preventing Covid-19 diseases, including severe forms of the disease," the US group said in the results of its work on the effectiveness of its formula, published on December 30 in the same magazine.
The only difference: its effectiveness for people over 65 years. The formula manufactured by the pharmaceutical groups Pfizer and BioNTech is most effective for this segment of the population. For those over 65, its efficacy is estimated to be 94.5%, while Modernas vaccine has been shown to be 86.4% effective.
And your safety? "With the exception of transient local and systemic reactions, no safety issues have been identified," Moderna said in the study. Pfizer and BioNTech have assured that the safety of their vaccine "during a period of 2 months was similar to that of other viral vaccines".
While its effectiveness is quite similar, its dosage is not. The Pfizer / BioNTech formula contains 30 µg of mRNA in 0.3 ml saline, while the Moderna formula contains 100 µg in 0.5 ml saline. Clearly, the Moderna lab vaccine is more concentrated.
A different interval between the two doses of these vaccines.
Two doses of these vaccines are injected into patients. However, the interval between the two injections is not the same for Moderna and Pfizer / BioNTech formulas. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the two doses must be received 21 days apart for the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine and 28 days apart for the Modern formula.
Covid-19: how are Moderna and Pfizer vaccines stored?
Both formulas should be stored at low temperatures. However, Modernas vaccine is easier to store. It can be minus 20 degrees, while the one from Pfizer / BioNTech should be stored at minus 70 degrees, or even minus 80 degrees, during transportation.
Moderna and Pfizer: How are these vaccines stored?
From a logistical point of view, the Moderna laboratory vaccine is easier to store. In a statement, the pharmaceutical company specified that its vaccine can be stored "for 6 months at -20 ° C, including up to 30 days in normal refrigeration conditions (ie, 2 to 8 ° C) after thawing."
Pfizer and BioNTech formula should be placed in a freezer because the conservation must be carried out at less than 70 or 80 degrees. The laboratories explained in a statement that this condition can extend the shelf life of the vaccine "up to 6 months." "After up to 30 days of storage in the Pfizer thermal charger, vaccination centers can transfer the vials in storage conditions of 2-8 ° C for an additional five days, for a total of up to 35 days. stored at 2-8 ° C, the vials cannot be refrozen or stored under frozen conditions, "reported Pfizer.