What’s next for Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine and how is it different from Pfizer’s

Coronavirus Local Impact

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – A second vaccine in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic is on the horizon as health officials work towards approving the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

“It’s very important to have multiple vaccines because the ability to produce a lot more doses for the population is very important at this critical time,” Baystate Health infectious disease division chief, Dr. Armando Paez told 22News.

An independent FDA advisory panel endorsed emergency use of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine. Now on Friday it goes to the full FDA for approval for emergency use authorization.

What’s similar about this vaccine compared to Pfizers is they both use M-RNA technology which tells your immune system to attack the virus but there are some differences.

“The Moderna vaccine can be stored in a regular freezer and that means it can actually be distributed beyond big institutions or hospitals,” Dr. Paez continued.

He said due to not needing an ultra-cold freezer, the Moderna vaccine could be more accessible to pharmacies who typically have regular freezers.

Additional differences include the Moderna vaccine being 63 percent effective after one dose compared to Pfizer at around 50 percent. Moderna says they have no adverse allergic reactions to their vaccine-like Pfizer saw in two people in Alaska.

Will you get to choose between which vaccine you receive? Dr. Paez says that option is a ways away.

“If you receive one or the other I think you should get it. Because there’s not enough vaccine. So once we have a lot more we can probably choose,” he continued.

The FDA says the Moderna vaccine is 94.5% effective. If the FDA gives emergency use authorization of the Moderna vaccine, by Monday doses could be rolling out across the country.

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