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Great news. Friday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted emergency approval for Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine.
The vote was 20-0 and one committee member abstained.
Moderna is the second COVID-19 vaccine to receive emergency FDA approval, joining Pfizer/BioNTech, which was approved last week.
OutKick discussed the key differences between the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines:
Overall, the two vaccines have more similarities than differences. Both require two doses, though Pfizer’s are administered three weeks apart, while Moderna’s shots are administered four weeks apart. After the second dose, both have a near 95% efficacy rate. While there is growing evidence of some effectiveness after the first dose, ABC News cautions that those numbers are small.
The effectiveness of Moderna and Pfizer remains true across race, gender, and age.
The most notable difference is that Moderna can be stored at a normal freezer temperature of -4, thus won’t have the logistical complications of Pfizer. Pfizer requires a complicated -94 degree temperature to store.
The temperature differences suggest that Pfizer is more likely for use in institutions with large infrastructures, like hospitals. Moderna is better suited for smaller locations.
The two vaccines will not be mixed. Patients will either get two Pfizer shots or two with the Moderna vaccine.
Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine is approved for those 18 and older.