(INDIANAPOLIS) – There are two approved coronavirus vaccines now. Which one you get depends on where you get it.
State health department chief medical officer Lindsay Weaver says the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines
are equally effective and equally safe. Pfizer reported 95% success in its clinical trials, while
Moderna’s effectiveness was 94%.
There are differences, but they’re subtle. The Moderna vaccine can be stored in a regular freezer,
while the Pfizer vaccine must be backed in dry ice, 90 degrees colder. Weaver says that means a
difference in who receives which one. The Pfizer vaccine is going to hospitals, which have ultracold
storage available. The Moderna version is more likely to go to nursing homes.
Pfizer is approved for 16-and-17-year-olds, while Moderna isn’t. That doesn’t matter for now, since the only people getting vaccinated so far are health care workers. Weaver says eventually, different
vaccines may be recommended for different groups.
And Weaver says while it doesn’t really matter which vaccine you receive, you do need to remember
which one it was. Both vaccines require a booster shot a few weeks later, and you need to get the
same vaccine for the second dose as you got for the first.