TUESDAY, Sept. 21, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Vaccine effectiveness (VE) against COVID-19 hospitalization is higher for the Moderna vaccine than the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, and VE is higher for both mRNA vaccines than the Janssen vaccine, according to research published in the Sept. 17 early-release issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Wesley H. Self, M.D., from the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, and colleagues assessed the VE of the mRNA-1273 (Moderna) and BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech) mRNA COVID-19 vaccines as well as the Ad26.COV2 from Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) in preventing COVID-19 hospitalization in a case-control analysis involving 3,689 adults aged 18 years or older who were hospitalized at 21 U.S. hospitals. Furthermore, serum antibody levels (anti-spike immunoglobulin G [IgG] and anti-receptor binding domain [RBD] IgG) were compared among 100 healthy volunteers enrolled at three hospitals two to six weeks after full vaccination.

The researchers found that for COVID-19 hospitalizations, VE was higher for the Moderna than the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine (93 versus 88 percent); VE was higher for both mRNA vaccines than for the Janssen vaccine (71 percent). There was a decrease noted in protection for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine about four months after vaccination. Compared with those vaccinated with the Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines, individuals vaccinated with the Janssen vaccine had significantly lower postvaccination anti-spike IgG and anti-RBD IgG levels.

“Understanding differences in VE by vaccine product can guide individual choices and policy recommendations regarding vaccine boosters,” the authors write. “All U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved or authorized COVID-19 vaccines provide substantial protection against COVID-19 hospitalization.”

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