UK study shows Pfizer and Moderna jabs give best COVID-19 protection

pharmafile | December 3, 2021 | News story | Medical Communications  

The Pfizer and Moderna booster vaccines have been shown to provide the best overall boost response, according to a UK trial testing seven different jabs.

The study consisted of nearly 3,000 adults, and was led by the University of Southampton. The results are published in the Lancet.

This trial is the first study testing the efficacy of COVID-19 booster jabs, and justifies the UK’s early decision to use these two vaccines for boosters. Whilst all the vaccines tested raised immunity against COVID-19 to some extent, the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines demonstrated the most positive response.

The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines gave the best boost to antibodies and T-cells, which are both important factors in the efficacy of vaccines, particularly after two initial doses of AstraZeneca.

Researchers said that even half a dose of the Pfizer booster could be used to boost immunity among populations, to maximise vaccine supplies.

Boosters have been shown to cut the risk of infection by over 93%, and all adults in the UK over the age of 18 are currently being offered a booster jab. This follows the UK government’s aim to administer boosters to all under 40s by the end of January.

The results of this trial are believed to have prompted the UK to order an additional 114 million doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, to be rolled out over the coming winter months and beyond.

Speaking to the BBC, Prof Saul Faust, who led the trial at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, commented: “It’s really encouraging that a wide range of vaccines, using different technologies, show benefits as a third dose to either AstraZeneca or Pfizer-BioNTech.

“That gives confidence and flexibility in developing booster programmes here in the UK and globally.”

Lina Adams

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