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Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine has fewer breakthrough cases than Pfizer, Moderna says

Does Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine work better than Pfizer?

A vial of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine in Denver.
A vial of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is pictured in Denver. Moderna said Thursday that its COVID-19 vaccine provides protection against severe disease, hospitalization and death — even if there is a minor risk of a rare heart inflammation issue.
David Zalubowski, Associated Press

Moderna said Thursday that its COVID-19 vaccine provides protection against severe disease, hospitalization and death — even if there is a minor risk of a rare heart inflammation issue.

Moderna side effects vs. efficacy

Moderna Chief Medical Officer Paul Burton told reporters Thursday that Moderna’s vaccine creates more cases of a rare heart inflammation condition called myocarditis, per CNBC.

  • But, at the same time, Burton said recent data show the Moderna vaccine is better at stopping breakthrough cases compared to Pfizer’s vaccine.
  • “While I think health authorities are carefully assessing the data, being appropriately cautious, you can see that they continue to recommend the use of the mRNA-1273 Moderna vaccine,” he said.
  • “We believe that the balance of benefit and risk is extremely positive,” he added.

Why are people worried about the Moderna vaccine?

Federal health officials in the United States have been reviewing the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine and its potential to create uncommon side effects.

Most recently, the Food and Drug Administration said it would review whether Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine can create the rare myocarditis side effect in teens 12 to 17 years old before it approves it for emergency use, according to NPR.

  • “The safety of vaccine recipients is of paramount importance to Moderna. The company is fully committed to working closely with the FDA to support their review and is grateful to the FDA for their diligence,” Moderna said in a statement.