Both vaccines used for booster shots are very good.
The vaccine from Biontech / Pfizer can be seen on the left, the vaccine from Moderna is in the right ampoule.
Photo: Ulrich Baumgarten / U. Baumgarten via Getty Images
Do you remember who made the vaccine for your last flu shot?
Which vaccine did you use to refresh your protection against tetanus (service note: adults need a refresh every ten years, take a look at your vaccination certificate)?
And your tick vaccination (in affected areas: every five years)?
The rabies vaccination before your hiking holiday in Thailand?
No matter how you chose the vaccine manufacturer for these vaccinations, it can help you with the booster vaccination with which you protect yourself and your fellow human beings from Covid 19 disease.
Booster vaccinations are currently only offered in Germany with vaccines from the manufacturers of Biontech / Pfizer and Moderna.
These booster vaccinations are necessary because the vaccination protection with two doses decreases over time.
And for the booster, you have a choice of which vaccine should protect you.
The Standing Vaccination Commission (Stiko) recommends that people under 30 be refreshed with the Biontech vaccine.
The reason is a slightly increased risk that an extremely rare side effect will occur after vaccination with Moderna: inflammation of the heart muscle and pericardium, myocarditis and pericarditis.
Even pregnant women should only be boosted with Biontech.
Both vaccines are equally suitable for anyone else who is 30 years of age and older.
Nevertheless, the majority of people are currently opting for a booster shot with "Comirnaty", the vaccine from Biontech.
Is there a valid argument for Biontech and against Moderna?
So how do the two vaccines differ, aside from the recommendation for under-30s?
The short answer: hardly.
The vaccines were approved about two weeks apart: The vaccine "Comirnaty" from the manufacturer Biontech / Pfizer received EU approval on December 21, 2020, and the "Spikevax" vaccine from Moderna was approved on January 6, 2021.
One dose of "Comirnaty" consists of 30 micrograms of vaccine.
The first and second dose of Moderna contains 100 micrograms of mRNA, only half the dose is necessary for the booster.
Once thawed, none of the vaccines should be refrozen.
A dose of vaccine costs money.
The federal government bears these costs - whoever gets vaccinated does not have to pay anything.
The costs for the vaccines from Biontech and Moderna are very close: Currently, a dose of Biontech costs 19.50 euros.
A dose of the Moderna vaccine costs about 21.50 euros.
For example, the Paul Ehrlich Institute, the Federal Institute for Vaccines and Biomedical Medicines, offers more information on the composition of vaccines on its website.
Is the booster effect the same?
Does it matter which vaccine you got your first Covid vaccination with?
Possibly a small one.
more on the subject
Scientists on the point of boosting: "The immunization is not complete after the second vaccination" By Jörg Römer
The Federal Ministry of Health in Germany does not currently advise changing the vaccine when a booster is given.
But there are preliminary data that show: It might even make sense to use a different vaccine for the booster than for the previous vaccination (see graphic).
Those who initially received the Biontech vaccine could be even better protected if the booster vaccination with Moderna takes place.
Conversely, the same may be true.
Anyone who received the product from Johnson & Johnson as the first vaccination could achieve the best vaccination protection with a Moderna booster, but Biontech is also well served.
There is no doubt that a booster vaccination makes sense in principle.
Biontech / Pfizer recently published a study on booster vaccination in the US with 10,000 participants.
The result: the third syringe increases protection against a Covid outbreak back to 95 percent.
These dates are still pending for Moderna.
However, similar results are to be expected, especially as there is increasing evidence that the Moderna vaccine could be somewhat superior to that from Biontech in terms of both effectiveness and duration of protection.
A study from the USA, for example, suggests that the Moderna vaccine prevents vaccine breakthroughs much better than the Biontech vaccine when infected with the Delta variant - possibly because of the higher dosage.
The vaccines were developed before the delta variant spread around the world.
But the effectiveness of the two mRNA vaccines is still very high.
And so far it looks as if the vaccine would also protect against infection with the new Omikron variant.
more on the subject
Bioinformaticians on Omikron: "It's a mystery where the virus was hiding" By Jörg Römer
Experts assure again and again: A booster vaccination is just as useful with Moderna as with Biontech. For example, the scientist Leif Erik Sander, who heads the Infection Immunology and Vaccine Research research group at Charité Berlin, said: The funds from Biontech / Pfizer and Moderna are “both excellent vaccines, which are excellent in terms of both basic and booster vaccination work. ”There is no reason to refuse either vaccine. “You can take what is there with peace of mind; both vaccines will protect you very well and both are very well tolerated. "
It can be said again: Both in the approval studies and in studies in the context of widespread use - with many millions of people - a high effectiveness of the available Covid-19 vaccines was proven: Both "Comirnaty" and "Spikevax" achieve one Value of up to 95 percent.
AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are 80 and 65 percent effective, respectively.
The vaccines that are administered in Germany for the booster vaccination are premium goods.
Millions of vaccine doses should be vaccinated quickly
In order to finally end the corona pandemic, which has been limiting life in Germany for more than 22 months, and to curb the overload in hospitals, even more people have to protect themselves with a vaccination.
This is the way out of the pandemic.
Currently, almost 69 percent of the population across Germany are fully vaccinated.
The majority of the currently administered doses serve to refresh existing vaccination protection.
And there is enough vaccine available: According to information from the Federal Ministry of Health, 28 million doses are to be delivered by the end of next week alone.