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Virologist: Moderna vaccine most effective booster dose

A vial of the Moderna vaccine.
A vial of the Moderna vaccine. Source: Mufid Majnun / Pixabay

Recent studies show the Moderna coronavirus vaccine is superior to Pfizer as a booster dose, Andres Merits, professor of applied virology at the University of Tartu, told newspaper Postimees.

Merit's opinion is based on a U.K. study. "The difference is not very big, but Moderna is clearly better than Pfizer because it lasts longer and the protection is also better," he said.

The former member of the government's advisory council said the latest analysis clearly showed that no matter what the first coronavirus vaccine was, a booster dose with Moderna was 10 percent more effective than with Pfizer.

"Should a backbone be found in Estonia and permission be given to administering a full booster dose with Moderna, it would be significantly better. But even if we administer a half dose, it is still better," Merits said.

He said people could decide in favor of Moderna when it comes to the booster dose.

Andres Merits. Source: ERR/ Lauri Varik

In November, Merits told Postimees the Moderna vaccine is clearly more effective.

"There is also evidence that a single dose provides 90 percent protection against serious illness and does so within 21 days. Other vaccines are not as fast or effective. This does not mean that a second dose (and a booster dose in the future) is not needed, but in the current situation, the use of this vaccine will give the fastest and best protection to unvaccinated groups at risk," Merits said.

"Of course, there are no completely free meals. The Moderna vaccine has more side effects, although these are associated with people under 30 and especially men. As far as I know, there is no difference with other vaccines in the risk groups. This vaccine is also the most expensive available," Merits said.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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