Comparative Effectiveness and Antibody Responses to Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccines among Hospitalized Veterans - Five Veterans Affairs Medical Centers, United States, February 1-September 30, 2021.MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2021 Dec 10; 70(49):1700-1705.MM
The mRNA COVID-19 vaccines (Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech) provide strong protection against severe COVID-19, including hospitalization, for at least several months after receipt of the second dose (1,2). However, studies examining immune responses and differences in protection against COVID-19-associated hospitalization in real-world settings, including by vaccine product, are limited. To understand how vaccine effectiveness (VE) might change with time, CDC and collaborators assessed the comparative effectiveness of Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines in preventing COVID-19-associated hospitalization at two periods (14-119 days and ≥120 days) after receipt of the second vaccine dose among 1,896 U.S. veterans at five Veterans Affairs medical centers (VAMCs) during February 1-September 30, 2021. Among 234 U.S. veterans fully vaccinated with an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine and without evidence of current or prior SARS-CoV-2 infection, serum antibody levels (anti-spike immunoglobulin G [IgG] and anti-receptor binding domain [RBD] IgG) to SARS-CoV-2 were also compared. Adjusted VE 14-119 days following second Moderna vaccine dose was 89.6% (95% CI = 80.1%-94.5%) and after the second Pfizer-BioNTech dose was 86.0% (95% CI = 77.6%-91.3%); at ≥120 days VE was 86.1% (95% CI = 77.7%-91.3%) for Moderna and 75.1% (95% CI = 64.6%-82.4%) for Pfizer-BioNTech. Antibody levels were significantly higher among Moderna recipients than Pfizer-BioNTech recipients across all age groups and periods since vaccination; however, antibody levels among recipients of both products declined between 14-119 days and ≥120 days. These findings from a cohort of older, hospitalized veterans with high prevalences of underlying conditions suggest the importance of booster doses to help maintain long-term protection against severe COVID-19.†.