Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine may offer longer-lasting protection than Pfizer’s, new research suggests, as governments and scientists debate who needs booster shots and when.
Recent studies show the Moderna jab prompts a stronger immune response than the rival mRNA vaccine from BioNTech/Pfizer, and that its effects wane more slowly.
Paul Burton, Moderna’s chief medical officer, said a stream of “extremely reassuring” studies in the past few weeks showed Moderna’s shot had “long-lived” efficacy, stood up to the Delta variant and could even help people with compromised immune systems.
Research published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that Belgian healthcare workers given the Moderna jab had more than double the number of antibodies two months after their second dose than those receiving Pfizer’s.
Higher antibody levels soon after vaccination should lead to longer-term protection and greater resistance to Covid variants, according to Deborah Steensels, one of the study’s authors. While the scientists were only able to count all antibodies, not the gold standard neutralising antibodies, she said the correlation was strong enough to bolster the theory.