The risk of suffering a breakthrough COVID-19 infection with the Delta variant after being fully vaccinated with the Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) vaccine may be much lower than the risk for those who received the Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) vaccine, according to a new Mayo Clinic study that is awaiting a full review.
The study found that in July in Florida, where COVID cases are at an all-time high and the delta variant is prevalent, the risk of a breakthrough case was 60% lower for Moderna recipients as compared to Pfizer recipients.
Similarly, in Minnesota last month, the authors found that the Moderna vaccine (also known as mRNA-1273) was 76% effective at preventing infection, but the Pfizer vaccine (known as BNT162b2) was 42% effective.
“Comparing rates of infection between matched individuals fully vaccinated with mRNA-1273 versus BNT162b2 across Mayo Clinic Health System sites in multiple states (Minnesota, Wisconsin, Arizona, Florida, and Iowa), mRNA-1273 conferred a two-fold risk reduction against breakthrough infection compared to BNT162b2,” the authors wrote in their abstract.
To be sure, the authors found that both vaccines “strongly protect” against severe disease; the difference appears to be more about whether people get infected at all in the first place. The CDC has said the risk of infection is 8x higher in the unvaccinated than the vaccinated, and the risk of hospitalization or death is 25x higher.
Shares in MRNA gained $2.85 to $388.18 soon after Thursday’s opening bell, while those for Pfizer jumped 47 cents, or 1%, to $46.78.
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