Comparative Effectiveness of BNT162b2 and mRNA-1273 Vaccines in U.S. Veterans.N Engl J Med. 2022 01 13; 386(2):105-115.NEJM
The messenger RNA (mRNA)-based vaccines BNT162b2 and mRNA-1273 are more than 90% effective against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19). However, their comparative effectiveness for a range of outcomes across diverse populations is unknown.
We emulated a target trial using the electronic health records of U.S. veterans who received a first dose of the BNT162b2 or mRNA-1273 vaccine between January 4 and May 14, 2021, during a period marked by predominance of the SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.7 (alpha) variant. We matched recipients of each vaccine in a 1:1 ratio according to their risk factors. Outcomes included documented severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection, symptomatic Covid-19, hospitalization for Covid-19, admission to an intensive care unit (ICU) for Covid-19, and death from Covid-19. We estimated risks using the Kaplan-Meier estimator. To assess the influence of the B.1.617.2 (delta) variant, we emulated a second target trial that involved veterans vaccinated between July 1 and September 20, 2021.
Each vaccine group included 219,842 persons. Over 24 weeks of follow-up in a period marked by alpha-variant predominance, the estimated risk of documented infection was 5.75 events per 1000 persons (95% confidence interval [CI], 5.39 to 6.23) in the BNT162b2 group and 4.52 events per 1000 persons (95% CI, 4.17 to 4.84) in the mRNA-1273 group. The excess number of events per 1000 persons for BNT162b2 as compared with mRNA-1273 was 1.23 (95% CI, 0.72 to 1.81) for documented infection, 0.44 (95% CI, 0.25 to 0.70) for symptomatic Covid-19, 0.55 (95% CI, 0.36 to 0.83) for hospitalization for Covid-19, 0.10 (95% CI, 0.00 to 0.26) for ICU admission for Covid-19, and 0.02 (95% CI, -0.06 to 0.12) for death from Covid-19. The corresponding excess risk (BNT162b2 vs. mRNA-1273) of documented infection over 12 weeks of follow-up in a period marked by delta-variant predominance was 6.54 events per 1000 persons (95% CI, -2.58 to 11.82).
The 24-week risk of Covid-19 outcomes was low after vaccination with mRNA-1273 or BNT162b2, although risks were lower with mRNA-1273 than with BNT162b2. This pattern was consistent across periods marked by alpha- and delta-variant predominance. (Funded by the Department of Veterans Affairs and others.).