Moderna and Sputnik edge out Pfizer in study of five Covid-19 vaccines

Moderna vaccine found to be most effective at preventing infection and death from Covid

The Moderna and Russian Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccines both edged out the one from Pfizer-BioNTech in effectiveness in a large-scale study of five different shots conducted by Hungarian researchers.

Moderna’s vaccine was 88.7 per cent effective in protecting against coronavirus infection and 93.6 per cent effective against Covid-related mortality, compared with 85.7 per cent and 95.4 per cent, respectively, for Sputnik, said a paper published on Wednesday on the website of the medical journal Clinical Microbiology and Infection.

Pfizer came in third with 83.3 per cent and 90.6 per cent, respectively.

The research reviewed the effectiveness of five vaccines at least seven days after study subjects had received their second dose. Data from more than 3.7 million vaccinated people aged 16 and over were reviewed from January to June of this year.

“The wide range of vaccines available in Hungary allows for the assessment of vaccine effectiveness in a real-world setting in a Central European country and puts Hungary in the unique position of providing detailed information on multiple vaccine types from the same country,” wrote the authors, who include Hungary’s minister in charge of health care, Miklos Kasler, and chief medical officer Cecilia Muller.

Pfizer was administered most frequently, to 1.5 million people, followed by China’s Sinopharm at 895,465, Russia’s Sputnik V at 820,560, AstraZeneca at 304,138 and Moderna at 222,892, the study showed.

And Pfizer and China’s Sinopharm had the highest share of vaccines administered to those aged 65 and over, while Sputnik had the lowest share, data showed.

AstraZeneca displayed 71.5 per cent effectiveness against infection and 74.5 per cent against Covid-related death, while Sinopharm had 68.7 per cent effectiveness against infection and 87.8 per cent against death.

Both AstraZeneca and Sinopharm had less than 50 per cent effectiveness against Covid infection in people aged 85 and older, the study found.

This is compared to 90.9 per cent for the same age group for Sputnik, 84.1 per cent for Moderna and 74.3 per cent for Pfizer.

Hungary had one of the world's highest Covid-related deaths per capita earlier this year. The country, whose vaccination rates lag behind the western European average, reported a record number of daily infections on Wednesday as the fourth wave of the virus continued to spread.

Updated: November 25th 2021, 9:24 PM