Israeli research has revealed that booster shots developed by both Moderna and Pfizer Inc. are capable of providing equal protection against COVID-19.
The new study has been peer-reviewed and was focused on fourth shots of the said vaccines. The study can be helpful to people who may feel anxious about whether they are getting the best vaccines or not.
The authors of the study concluded that people should take the vaccine that is available for the most part.
No such differences
One of the researchers was Dr. Noam Barda who works at the Ben Gurion University and at the Sheba Medical Center, who said that there were very subtle differences and the choice should be based on logistical concerns as opposed to efficacy.
The researcher said that the fourth shots were similar in terms of effectiveness and immune response. The research at Sheba was headed by Dr. Michal Canetti and Barda.
They acknowledged that their study had two limitations; first, it only involved about 274 people who were healthcare workers.
Therefore, this meant that they did not cover the full cross-section of the society where age is concerned.
The study in question was conducted between the months of December and July and the research team stated that its limitation was that they were using regular vaccines for administering the fourth shot.
Most of the world are using them for the same purpose and have not yet begun to use the ones that were newly released after being updated to fight other variants.
Last month, the new vaccines that are specific to the Omicron variant had been rolled out in Israel.
Sheba workers had been monitored in the study and some of them had received the Pfizer vaccine as the fourth shot and some had been administered the Moderna vaccine.
All study participants had initially been administered three shots of the Pfizer vaccine, but the antibodies before the booster shot had been low. None of the study’s participants were infected with COVID-19 knowingly.
The study’s conclusions
The researchers said that the study showed that six months after the fourth dose, the cumulative vaccine efficacy and the antibody levels is the same between the two vaccines.
The findings of the research shows that the choice of which vaccine should be used for a booster dose should mostly be based on availability.
The study had started in December and went on for half a year. It covered the Omicron wave in Israel during which 57.8% of people who had received Pfizer and 58.3% who had received Moderna were infected.
Moderna recipients fared a bit better in terms of disease, but since there were just 21 people who fell into this category, the researchers said the advantage was a minor one.
The authors also addressed the study’s limitations and said that due to the small sample size, they were not able to assess the severe outcomes that were less common, such as death or hospitalization.
They also said that most participants of the study had a mean age of 58, so this also resulted in some generalization.