How Modern’s Coronavirus Vaccine Differs from Pfizer

But there are some major differences. Most importantly, Modern’s vaccine can be stored in a common freezer and does not require a super-cold transport network, making it more accessible to small facilities and local communities.

While Pfizer is a drug, modern, short for modern – modified RNA – is a biotech company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Established in 2010, Modern has never brought a product to market, or given any of its nine or so vaccine candidates approved for use by the FDA. It had never before brought a product to phase three of a clinical trial.

Scientists at the company were already collaborating with researchers from the National Institutes of Health on another vaccine for Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). When Chinese researchers released the genomic sequence for the coronovirus novel in mid-January, they made a debut.

The vaccine called MRNA-1273 was supported in development by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. The US Biomedical Advance Research and Development Authority, better known as BARDA, has supported late-stage clinical trials and has helped grow manufacturing.

The FDA conducted a green-lit clinical trial of Modern’s vaccine on March 3, the first outside the gate. Its advanced phase clinical trial began on July 27 and was the first government-funded Phase 3 clinical trial for the Kovid-19 vaccine in the US. The company applied to the FDA for the Emergency Use Authority for the vaccine on 30 November.

Does the vaccine work?

Modern vaccine was effective in preventing Kovid-19 cases during testing and limiting severe Kovid-19 cases.

According to a briefing document released by an advisory committee to the FDA, the efficacy of the vaccine against Kovid-19 was 94.1%, which is at least 14 days after the second dose.
See how different coronavirus vaccines work here

In Modern’s trial, 15,000 study participants were given a placebo, a saline shot that has no effect. Over several months, 185 of them developed Kovid-19, with 30 developing severe forms of the disease. One of them died.

The other 15,000 participants were vaccinated, and only 11 of them developed Kovid-19. None of the 11 became seriously ill.

According to the briefing document, the vaccine was effective for participants with age groups, genders, racial and ethnic groups, and medical comrades with high risk of severe Kovid-19. About 10% of the study participants were Black and 20% were Hispanic or Latino.

how does it work?

Like Pfizer’s vaccine, Modern’s messenger delivers RNA, or mRNA, a genetic recipe for making a piece of spike that sits on top of the coronovirus. Once injected, the body’s immune system produces antibodies to spikes. If a subsequently vaccinated person is exposed to coronovirus, those antibodies must be prepared to attack the virus.

The modern vaccine in particular contains a synthetic mRNA that codes for a structure known as the “pre-fusion stable spike glycoprotein” of the virus.

The vaccine also contains lipids, tromethamine, tromethamine hydrochloride, acetic acid, sodium acetate, and fatty substances called sucrose.

How modern is the vaccine different from Pfizer?

The two vaccines are very similar, but they have some important differences that make the modern-day vaccine “more flexible”, as US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said last month.
Efficacy: Both Moderna and Pfizer-Bioentec vaccines have shown similar efficacy levels of approximately 95%.

“They seem almost equal,” said Dr. Paul Offit, a member of the FDA’s Vaccine Advisory Committee, during an appearance on CNN’s “New Day” on Tuesday.

The structure: Both vaccines depend on mRNA, or messenger RNA, to work, although with slightly different structures and makeup.

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“While they are both messenger RNA vaccines, they are actually separate messenger RNA molecules, they have different so-called lipid delivery systems, meaning the type of fatty droplet in which the messenger RNA is located,” Offit said on Monday . “That’s why they have different storage and handling characteristics.”

Cold house: Most importantly, there is no need to keep the modern vaccine at super-cold temperatures, such as Pfizer.

The Pfizer vaccine needs to be minus -75 ° C, about 50 degrees colder than any currently used vaccine in the US. The vaccine can only be stored in the refrigerator for five days before it expires.
To accommodate this, the CDC created a complex set of handling and storage requirements known as “cold chains” that included expensive ultra-cold freezers and lots of dry ice.

In contrast, Morden’s vaccine can be maintained at minus -20 ° C or about the temperature of a home freezer according to Minus-Saloi, the flagship of the US effort to develop a vaccine for Kovid-19. Modernism vaccines can also be stored in the refrigerator for 30 days before expiring.

“So it’s more manageable and a lot more commonly available,” Saloi said on Tuesday.

These differences suggest that Pfizer’s vaccine may be used more for major institutions with established infrastructure such as hospitals, while modernism may be more useful for local chains or smaller facilities such as pharmacists.

Dose and time: Modern vaccines are administered as two 100 microgram doses given 28 days apart. Pfizer vaccines are administered as two 30-microgram doses, given 21 days apart.

Ages: If authorized, the modern vaccine will be used in people 18 and older, while the Pfizer vaccine was authorized for people 16 and older.

Is it safe

The vaccine has a “favorable” safety profile, the briefing document to the FDA states, “no specific safety concerns were identified” that would prevent it from obtaining emergency authorization.

The most common adverse reaction to the vaccine is documented as injection site pain, fatigue, headaches, muscle aches, joint pain, and chills. Swollen lymph nodes have also been reported.

Overall, the frequency of non-serious serious adverse events “between the group receiving the vaccine and the group receiving the placebo” was low and without meaningful imbalance.

A study participant, 24-year-old Yasir Batalvi, told CNN that he suffered from low-grade fever, fatigue and chills after receiving a second shot of what he considered to be an actual vaccine. By the next morning he was fine.
Operation War Speed ​​Chief Scientific Advisor Saloi has stated that 10–15% of immunized study subjects will develop “quite noticeable side effects”.

When can I get it?

The US initially bought 100 million doses of Modern’s vaccine, and last week agreed to buy 100 million more doses. Health and Human Services said in a statement that Modern first began producing 100 million doses, while clinical trials were underway.
When can I get a coronavirus virus vaccine?

Once the FDA authorized emergency use, Slaoui stated that eXpect shipments to begin at 24 hours for vaccines to arrive at facilities by Monday morning.

More than 6 million doses of the modern vaccine will be shipped to more than 3,200 sites, far more than the 636 sites that Pfizer vaccines were shipped to.

From there, vaccines will be administered in an order established by state and local authorities. Vaccine consultants at the CDC recommended that health care workers and long-term care facilities residents be in the first line for any coronovirus vaccine that received emergency approval.

CNN’s chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta speculated that vaccines would usually be available in late spring or early summer.

CNN’s Jane Christenson, Elizabeth Cohen and Naomi Thomas contributed to this report.


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