November 30, 2021

VERIFY: Is Moderna better at preventing breakthrough cases than Pfizer?

ATLANTA — There’s a lot of discussion about the impact coronavirus has on unvaccinated versus vaccinated people. But, while the risk of getting a breakthrough case remains low, there are questions centered around if one vaccine is more effective against breakthrough cases than another. 

THE QUESTION:

Is Moderna better at preventing breakthrough cases than Pfizer?

THE SOURCES: 

  • The Mayo Clinic 
  • Journal of the American Medical Association 
  • Centers for Disease Control

Yes, but it needs context.

WHAT WE FOUND:

The Mayo Clinic published a study, that’s still under review after they examined July cases in Florida, where the numbers were at an all-time high. 

That study found the number of breakthrough cases is 60% lower for Moderna than Pfizer. 

Another study from the Journal of the American Medical Association looked at fully vaccinated Belgium health care workers. They studied those who never had COVID previously and found double the amount of antibodies in those who received the Moderna vaccine. 

The study revealed that the difference could be attributed to Moderna having a higher concentration of mRNA- the instruction piece of the vaccine that tells our cells what to do. 

However, the studies also discuss if you get a breakthrough case at all. Both studies found if you did get COVID after being vaccinated, both Pfizer and Moderna offered strong protection against severe disease and hospitalization. 

A chart from the CDC shows that since the start of 2021, the rate at which unvaccinated people over 18 are hospitalized is 16 times higher.

So, we can Verify, that yes, there have been fewer breakthrough cases among Moderna vaccine recipients. But, both are incredibly successful at keeping you out of the ER. 

The VERIFY team works to separate fact from fiction so that you can understand what is true and false. Please consider subscribing to our daily newsletter, text alerts and our YouTube channel. You can also follow us on Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and TikTok. Learn More »

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