There are key differences between the COVID-19 vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer.
The primary difference is how they are stored: The Pfizer vaccine needs to be kept at temperatures around minus 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Moderna’s vaccine only needs about minus 10 degrees.
As far as effectiveness, however, Pfizer’s and Moderna’s vaccines were very close, testing at 95% and 94%, respectively. The only unique side effect of the Pfizer vaccine was a headache; both had instances of fatigue, joint pain and injection site reactions, and in both the side effects were more noticeable after the second round.
For now, doctors just want to make sure as many people as possible get the vaccine.
“Now is the time to say we believe in it,” said Dr. Alejandro Perez-Trepichio of Millenium Physician Group. “I will get it myself, I will give it to my family. At that point, don’t get hung up on the differences.”
The trial size for each vaccine was different, too, but Perez-Tripichio says it doesn’t matter much how many people were tested as long as the test group looks like the people that will be getting the vaccine.
“The best vaccine is the one that goes into your arm as fast and quickly as possible” Perez-Tripichio said. “The second-best vaccine is the continuation of the medication aspects… the masks, washing hands and social distancing.”