What’s the Difference Between the COVID Vaccines?

With the approval last month of the Moderna vaccine by the Food and Drug Administration, we now have two COVID-19 vaccines available. Two more – one from Johnson & Johnson the other from AstraZeneca – are on the way and could be approved as soon as February.

Healthcare workers, residents of nursing facilities and some first responders have already received the Pfizer vaccine, the first one approved by the FDA. Moderna has begun shipping its vaccine with the first of the 25 million initial doses administered last month.

People eager to be immunized have inundated doctors’ offices and clinics asking when the vaccine will be available. The best answer is soon.

Which one, though, will you receive? And does it make any difference?

The answer to the first question is whichever vaccine can be obtained the quickest or, in some cases, whichever your health plan recommends. It really doesn’t make any difference to you.

Both vaccines require two separate doses to reach maximum effectiveness 21 days apart for Pfizer and 28 days for the Moderna version. Both protect about equally well. The FDA data shows Pfizer is 95% effective after both doses. Moderna is 94.1%.

Unlike most other vaccines, these two vaccines use pieces of protein from the SARS-CoV-2 virus to prompt the body to create antibodies. Conventional vaccines, like the annual flu shot, are manufactured from viruses typically grown in chicken eggs. These chicken grown viruses are then killed or weakened to become vaccines.

The COVID vaccines employ messenger RNA (mRNA), a newer technology. These vaccines “teach” the body to replicate the little bit of the CoV-2 protein, which, in turn, creates an immune response causing the body to make the antibodies that provide the protection against the virus.

The most significant difference between the Moderna and the Pfizer vaccines is how they must be stored. Both can survive for a few days in standard refrigeration. For longer periods, the less stable Pfizer vaccine must be kept in ultra-low temperatures below -94 F. That makes shipping and storing Pfizer’s vaccine somewhat more complicated, especially outside urban areas where the low temperature refrigeration is not easily available.

“At the end of the day, these two vaccines are pretty similar,” Dr. Thomas Russo, professor and chief of infectious disease at the State University of New York, tells Health. “Grab it while you can.”

Photo by Hakan Nural

How to Address Resume Gaps
General Interest Green Key News Worklife

How to Address Resume Gaps

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Emily Gelman
General Interest Green Key News Professional Support Worklife

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Emily Gelman

Green Key Unlocked: Why It Pays to be a Paralegal
Accounting + Finance Financial Services General Interest Green Key News Legal Support Worklife

Green Key Unlocked: Why It Pays to be a Paralegal

Perks of a Hybrid Work Schedule
General Interest Green Key News Worklife

Perks of a Hybrid Work Schedule

Green Key Announces New Partners and Principals
Accounting + Finance Architecture + Engineering Financial Services General Interest Green Key News Healthcare Human Resources Information Technology Leadership + Management Pharma Professional Support Worklife

Green Key Announces New Partners and Principals

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Todd Bernard
Accounting + Finance General Interest Green Key News Human Resources Leadership + Management Worklife

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Todd Bernard

Employee Benefits for a Supportive Workplace
General Interest Green Key News Worklife

Employee Benefits for a Supportive Workplace

Forbes Names Green Key on America’s Best Temp Staffing Firms 2021
Green Key News

Forbes Names Green Key on America’s Best Temp Staffing Firms 2021

SIA Names Green Key Resources among Largest Staffing Firms in the US
Green Key News

SIA Names Green Key Resources among Largest Staffing Firms in the US

Wrapped Up: 2021 Corporate Trends
General Interest Green Key News Worklife

Wrapped Up: 2021 Corporate Trends

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Kelsey Kirk
General Interest Green Key News Professional Support Worklife

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Kelsey Kirk

Advantages of the “Stay Interview”
General Interest Green Key News Worklife

Advantages of the “Stay Interview”

Green Key Unlocked: What’s New in Architecture, Engineering, & Construction
Architecture + Engineering General Interest Green Key News Worklife

Green Key Unlocked: What’s New in Architecture, Engineering, & Construction

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Lisa Figuccio
Accounting + Finance General Interest Green Key News Worklife

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Lisa Figuccio

Tips for Writing Job Descriptions
General Interest Green Key News Worklife

Tips for Writing Job Descriptions

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Alexa Perrone
Accounting + Finance General Interest Green Key News Worklife

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Alexa Perrone

Tips for Employee Retention
General Interest

Tips for Employee Retention

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Brooke Stemen
General Interest Green Key News Worklife

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Brooke Stemen

Green Key Unlocked: The Value of the MBA
Accounting + Finance Financial Services General Interest Green Key News Marketing Technology Worklife

Green Key Unlocked: The Value of the MBA

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Amy Raymond
General Interest Green Key News Professional Support Worklife

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Amy Raymond

Latest Blog Posts
View All Posts
How to Address Resume Gaps

How to Address Resume Gaps

Knowing how to address resume gaps, both from a candidate and client perspective, can help move the hiring process along...
Read More
#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Emily Gelman

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Emily Gelman

Today we catch up with Emily Gelman, Senior Recruiter on the Professional Support team at Green Key. Gelman joined the...
Read More
Green Key Unlocked: Why It Pays to be a Paralegal

Green Key Unlocked: Why It Pays to be a Paralegal

Paralegals are not only imperative to the industry, but recently in high demand. Due to law firms encouraging their entry...
Read More