Study Finds Fewer Breakthrough COVID-19 Infections, Lower Risk of Hospitalization With Moderna Vaccine


This recent research also found that those who received the Moderna vaccine were less likely to be hospitalized compared to recipients of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

A new study found that those who received the Moderna COVID-19 mRNA vaccine are less likely to experience breakthrough COVID-19 cases compared to recipients of the Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA vaccine, according to researchers at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.

A breakthrough infection occurs when a person becomes infected after being fully vaccinated, according to the CDC. This recent research also found that those who received the Moderna vaccine were less likely to be hospitalized compared to recipients of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

The study analyzed electronic health records of more than 637,000 fully vaccinated patients from 63 health care organizations across the United States, which covers diverse geographic, age, races and ethnicities, income levels, and insurance groups, according to the researchers.

“Breakthrough COVID infections, hospitalization and mortality associated with the Delta variant were compared between recipients of Moderna mRNA vaccine and recipient of Pfizer mRNA vaccine while considering patient characteristics and the varying time since vaccination,” said study author Rong Xu, professor of bioinformatics, in a press release.

The data included COVID-19 breakthrough infections that occurred between July and November 2021, during which time the delta variant accounted for almost all of the cases. The incidents of breakthrough infections were included if the person had not been previously infected with COVID-19 or had received a booster vaccination. The team considered demographics, social determinants of health, transplants, and comorbidities, in addition to hospitalization rates of patients within 60 days after COVID-19 infection.

The results show that the monthly incidence rate of breakthrough cases was higher in those who received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine compared to the Moderna vaccine. The data showed 2.8 breakthrough cases in those vaccinated with Pfizer-BioNTech compared to 1.6 cases per 1000 people in November 2021. The 60-day hospitalization rate was 12.7% for Moderna recipients and 13.3% for Pfizer-BioNTech recipients.

“Although there is a difference in breakthrough infections, both vaccines are highly protective against SARS-COV2 infection and especially against the most severe consequences of infection,” said study co-author Pamela B. Davis, the Arline and Curtis Garvin Research Professor in the Center for Community Health Integration, in the press release.“Further studies are required to assess the results of booster doses and also the protection afforded especially vulnerable populations by vaccines.”


Study finds fewer breakthrough COVID-19 infections, lower risk of hospitalization in those who received Moderna vaccine compared to Pfizer–BioNTech. EurekAlert! January 20, 2022. Accessed January 21, 2022.

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