COVID-19 Resource Center

COVID-19 Resource Center

Disclosures: Self reports receiving grants and consultant fees from Merck and consultant fees from Aerpio Pharmaceuticals. Please see the study for all other authors’ relevant financial disclosures.
September 17, 2021
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Among three COVID-19 vaccines, Moderna’s shows highest efficacy against hospitalizations

Disclosures: Self reports receiving grants and consultant fees from Merck and consultant fees from Aerpio Pharmaceuticals. Please see the study for all other authors’ relevant financial disclosures.
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Vaccine effectiveness against COVID-19 hospitalization among U.S. adults without immunocompromising conditions was highest for the Moderna vaccine compared with the other two available COVID-19 vaccines, researchers reported in MMWR.

“Three COVID-19 vaccines are authorized or approved for use among adults in the United States,” Wesley H. Self, MD, associate professor at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, and colleagues wrote. “Current guidelines from FDA and CDC recommend vaccination of eligible persons with one of these three products, without preference for a specific vaccine.”

Self WH, et al. MMWR Morbid Mortal Wkly Rep. 2021;doi:10.15585/mmwr.mm7038e1.
Self WH, et al. MMWR Morbid Mortal Wkly Rep. 2021;doi:10.15585/mmwr.mm7038e1.

To better assess vaccine effectiveness (VE) of the three available COVID-19 vaccines in the U.S. in preventing COVID-19 hospitalization, Self and colleagues conducted a case-control analysis among 3,689 adults aged 18 years and older who were hospitalized at 21 U.S. hospitals between March 11 and Aug. 15, 2021. According to the study, an additional analysis compared serum antibody levels to SARS-CoV-2 among 100 healthy volunteers enrolled at three hospitals 2 to 6 weeks after full vaccination with the Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech or Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

Overall, the study demonstrated that VE against COVID-19 hospitalizations was higher for the Moderna vaccine (93%; 95% CI, 91%-95%) than for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine (88%; 95% CI, 85%-91%), whereas VE for both of the messenger RNA vaccines was higher than that of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine (71%; 95% CI, 56%-81%). Additionally, the study showed that protection from the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine declined 4 months after vaccination. Researchers added that post-vaccination anti-spike IgG and anti-receptor binding domain IgG levels were significantly lower in participants who were vaccinated with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine compared with the Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines.

“Although these real-world data suggest some variation in levels of protection by vaccine, all FDA-approved or authorized COVID-19 vaccines provide substantial protection against COVID-19 hospitalization,” the authors concluded.