The hospital’s 4,000 employees and doctors have been vaccinated in recent months with vaccines from Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca. The research results were published in the leading scientific journal JAMA.
Of the 4,000 employees and doctors who were vaccinated, 2,500 volunteered to participate in the two researchers’ study. Two months after their second shot, the analysis of the data shows that those vaccinated with Moderna have significantly more antibodies than those given the Pfizer vaccine.
“When medically validating the results, it was immediately apparent that the individual antibody titres (the extent to which the presence of antibodies can still be detected, ed.) varied widely,” explains lead researcher Deborah Steensels, clinical biologist at ZOL. “We saw a clear difference in antibody titres from individuals who received the Moderna vaccine and those who received the Pfizer vaccine. Thorough data analysis confirmed that the antibodies of people who were vaccinated with Moderna are significantly higher than those of people who received the Pfizer vaccine.”
A possible explanation for this finding is that the mRNA material is dosed three times higher in Moderna’s vaccine. The study results also confirm the findings of other research groups that antibody titres are lower in elderly patients and higher with vaccination after covid-19 infection. These first results have since been published in the scientific journal JAMA.
The study also found that a small group of caregivers had a lower response rate. These caregivers had no clear risk factors.
“Mapping differences in response to the vaccines is important,” says doctor Line Heylen to Belga. “The outcome of the study may possibly influence the further use of the available vaccines. For example, the supply of Moderna vaccines could be reserved for people who are expected to have a lower response to vaccination, such as the elderly, cancer patients and kidney dialysis patients. Healthcare providers whose antibody titer is below a threshold value may then be advised to register for an additional vaccination.”
The study participants will be followed up for another year, although this may be longer if they receive a third booster shot. The data analysis of the group of people vaccinated with AstraZeneca’s vaccine will follow soon.