The Moderna vaccine is the most effective at preventing coronavirus hospitalizations, according to a study released Friday by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. But the study says all three vaccines approved in the U.S. provided “substantial” protection.
“Although these real-world data suggest some variation in levels of protection by vaccine, all FDA-approved or authorized COVID-19 vaccines provide substantial protection against COVID-19 hospitalization,” the study says.
With 93% effectiveness at preventing hospitalization, Moderna’s vaccine led the pack, followed by Pfizer’s vaccine with 88% effectiveness. The Johnson and Johnson vaccine came in third at 71%.
The study analyzed more than 3,600 adults hospitalized across 18 states between March and August. Of those, more than 1,600 had positive COVID-19 tests, while the others were considered controls, and those with immunocompromising conditions were excluded.
The main difference indicated between the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines was a dwindling effectiveness in Pfizer’s protection, the study says, beginning about four months after vaccination.
The results come as the Food and Drug Administration’s vaccine committee met Friday to determine whether to recommend booster shots to the general population as early as next week, amid declining immunity for those inoculated when vaccines first became available and a surging delta variant. But the FDA advisory panel voted 16-2 against recommending the shots for all adults, a blow to the Biden administration’s plan to begin distributing third doses the week of Sept. 20.