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The Moderna vaccine is administered via two intramuscular injections 28 days apart.The injection consists of 100 micrograms of mRNA vaccine diluted with normal saline in a 0.5mL injection4.
From results released from the Phase 1 study, patients given the therapeutic dose of the vaccine had a mean antibody level much higher than that of human convalescent serum5. On November 20, 2020, Moderna announced in a press release that Phase 3 trial results indicate that their vaccine is 94.1% efficacious against COVID-19 infection6. The mRNA-1273 Phase 3 trial data has yet to be published at the time of this post.
The Pfizer vaccine is administered over 2 intramuscular injections that are 21 days apart. Low, mid, and high doses in a 0.5mL injection (250 μg/0.5 mL) are still being tested and specific dosages once the drug is released to market is to be determined7.
Within Phase 1-2 interim trial results, the Pfizer vaccine showed substantially greater concentration of antibodies in comparison to human convalescent serum8. On November 18, 2020, Pfizer announced in a press release that their Phase 3 trials demonstrate a 95% efficacy rate in prevention of COVID-19 infection9. The BNT162b2 Phase 3 trial has yet to be published at the time of this post.
To administer the vaccine to patients, healthcare providers will need to have training in the administration of intramuscular (IM) injections. In addition, the facilities will need to have an organized database in place that states the date when the patient receives the first dose and the date when the second dose should occur (21 days after). Each injection volume is approximately 0.5-0.6mL.
Efficacy has been measured in early Phase 1-2 trials by comparing ELISA IgG antibody levels of vaccinated individuals to human convalescent serum (serum of patients that have recovered from COVID-19) in order to evaluate potential protection from COVID-19. The studies have shown that at day 35, vaccinated individuals had antibody levels 4 to 6 times greater than the mean convalescent serum1.
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Phase 3 studies has been conducted with adults 18 years of age or older. The vaccine is delivered via intramuscular injection with a dosage of 1.0mL. This vaccine is only one dose per patient2.
Prepared in collaboration with graduate students at Keck Graduate Institute (Claremont, CA): Kaljit Atwal, Paola Montes, Joseph Nguyen, Alice Wen