Moderna could offer better defence against Delta variant than Pfizer

pharmafile | August 10, 2021 | News story | Manufacturing and Production  

Pfizer-BioNTech’s mRNA could be less effective than Moderna’s against the Delta variant of COVID-19.

In a study of more than 50,000 patients in the Mayo Clinic Health System, researchers found the effectiveness of Moderna’s vaccine against infection had dropped to 76% in July – when the Delta variant was predominant – from 86% in early 2021.

Over that same period, the effectiveness of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine had fallen to 42% from 76%, researchers said.

Fortunately, both vaccines remain effective at preventing COVID hospitalisation.

However, Dr Venky Soundararajan of Massachusetts data analytics company nference, who led the Mayo study, said that a Moderna booster shot may be necessary soon for anyone who got the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines earlier this year, as reported in Reuters.

It was also found in a separate study involving elderly nursing home residents in Ontario that the Moderna vaccine triggered stronger immune responses than Pfizer, particularly in regards to the variants.

When Reuters asked Pfizer to comment on both research reports, a spokesperson said, “We continue to believe… a third dose booster may be needed within 6 to 12 months after full vaccination to maintain the highest levels of protection.”

A small study in Israel also found that ovarian egg sacs not harmed by COVID-19 antibodies.

Dr Yaakov Bentov of Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center in Jerusalem, who co-authored a report published on Saturday in Human Reproduction, said there was also no difference in “the rate of good quality embryos from the eggs retrieved from each patient.”

Lilly Subbotin

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